A survey of people’s religious beliefs carried out in 10 countries this year suggests that Nigeria is the most religious nation in the world.
Ten thousand people were questioned in the ICM poll for the BBC programme What The World Thinks Of God.
Over 90% of Nigerians said they believed in God, prayed regularly and would die for their belief.
The highest levels of belief were found in some of the world’s poorer countries, as well as in the US.
The countries polled were the US, the UK, Israel, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, Mexico and Lebanon. The interviews were carried out in January 2004.
India and Indonesia were also recorded as countries with a high level of belief in God.
But the results of the poll showed that levels of belief and religious activity in the UK, Russia and South Korea were consistently lower than in most of the other countries polled.
In Lebanon and the US, 71% said they were willing to die for their God or their beliefs.
In most of the countries covered, well over 80% said they believed in God or a higher power. In Nigeria the figure was 100% and in the US 91%, with the UK scoring lowest at 67%.
In Nigeria 91% of people said they regularly attended a religious service, contrasting with 21% in the UK and only 7% of Russians. The average across the 10 countries was 46%.
In most countries well over 80% of the sample agreed that a belief in God or a higher power made people better human beings, with only 56% agreeing in the UK – by far the lowest figure.
The subject of prayer found 95% of Nigerians and 67% in the US claiming to pray regularly.
Those saying they never prayed included 29% of Israelis and 25% of Britons. But across the entire sample, almost 30% of all atheists surveyed said they sometimes prayed.
Full poll results will be published on the programme website after the programme.