80% Urban Indians Are Comfortable With People Of Different Faiths: Survey
A new 26-country global advisor survey by Ipsos titled Global Religion 2023 – Religious Beliefs Around the World shows at least 8 in 10 urban Indians claim to be comfortable around people of a different faith. With 3 in 4 global citizens echoing similar views.
Religion plays a key role in the everyday life of urban Indians with at least 86 per cent of urban Indians polled believing religious practices are an important factor in the moral life of citizens. Advocating the merits of being religious, at least 8 in 10 urban Indians said people with religious faith are happier, 79 per cent said people with religious faith are better citizens and 86 per cent Indians claimed to be defined by their religion.
At least 8 in 10 urban Indians (81 per cent) said that they believe in the existence of God or a higher power and 7 in 10 urban Indians of different faiths (70 per cent) said that they believe in God as described in their holy scriptures.
Among global citizens, 61 per cent said that they believe in the existence of God or higher power.
Delving deeper into other beliefs, views were polarised towards whether Heaven exists, with 54 per cent of urban Indians believing it does – 79 per cent of Peruvians and Brazilians claimed to be believing in the existence of Heaven. 43 per cent of urban Indians believe in the existence of Supernatural Spirits (angels, demons, fairies and ghosts etc.), 47 per cent of urban Indians believe that Hell exists and 4 in 10 urban Indians (41 per cent) believe the Devil exists.
Being religious and believing in the existence of God or higher power is seen as a solution for life’s rigours with 8 in 10 urban Indians (83 per cent) believing, it helps them in overcoming crises and it gives meaning to their lives and infuses their life with happiness.
Interestingly, atheists are somewhat frowned upon, with at least 73 per cent of urban Indians claiming to lose respect for those without religious faith.
Religious practice by country
3 in 4 urban Indians (74 per cent) claimed to have prayed outside a place of worship (at home) at least once or more than once a month and 44 per cent of global citizens claimed to be praying outside (at home).
7 in 10 urban Indians (71 per cent) claimed to have visited a place of worship at least once or more than once a month, with only 28 per cent of global citizens claiming to have visited a religious shrine in the last month.
Summarising the findings of the survey, Amit Adarkar, CEO of Ipsos India said, “India has exemplified how people of different faiths can co-exist amicably and being defined by the good teachings in their holy scriptures. Believing in the existence of God or a higher power makes people navigate and trudge through their lives with ease and makes them happier humans.”
India definitely is a land of different faiths and can be defined as a religious country of pluralism, Adarkar added.