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Survey Says! Greeks EU's Most Religious Zealots, God Believers

Αssociated Press

In this Sunday, May 24, 2020, photo, a Greek Orthodox priest uses a shared spoon to distribute Holy Communion during Sunday Mass in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

As was shown when Greeks took Holy Communion even as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to rage, religion is important in their lives in a country where most are Orthodox, and a survey shows they are the most devout in the European Union.

Some 73 percent in a Pew Research Center said prayer plays a big part of their existence, the highest in the bloc and second only to Turkey, which was included in a poll of 34 countries including those outside the EU.

And 80% of Greeks declared that religion is important in their lives, the highest rate among western nations polled in the survey called The Global God Divide in which the Washington, D.C.-based think tank surveyed 38,426 people from May 13-Oct. 2, 2019.

After that came Poland, with 69 percent but 78 percent of Swedes, 72 percent of Czechs, 66 percent of French and 60 percent of both the British and Dutch said religion was not important to them.

Of the 13 European Union member-states included in the survey, Greece ranked first when its respondents were asked whether belief in God is a prerequisite to being moral, with 53% answering yes, followed by Bulgaria at 50 percent and Slovakia at just 45 percent.

Belief was lowest in France (15 percent); the Czech Republic (14 percent) and Sweden (9 percent) further showing how essential religion and God is to Greeks, apart from former premier and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, an atheist who wanted to bring separation of Church and State but failed.

A whopping 82 percent of Greeks said God is important in their lives, putting Greece just behind Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country, where the rate was 89 percent.