The world is deeply divided on the question of whether religion is a force for good, a survey by Ipsos Reid suggests.
Is religion a force for good?
% who agree
Source: Ipsos Reid
The pollster found that 48 per cent of the more than 18,000 people it reached online in 23 countries agreed that "religion provides the common values and ethical foundations that diverse societies need to thrive in the 21st century."
A bare majority — 52 per cent — thought otherwise. They agreed with the sentiment that "religious beliefs promote intolerance, exacerbate ethnic divisions and impede social progress."
There was wide regional variation in the results. Respondents in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, where there are large Muslim populations, overwhelmingly said they believed religion was a force for good, while respondents in European countries tended to disagree with that.
About two-thirds of Americans polled thought religion was a force for good, but only 36 per cent of Canadians thought the same.