Atheism in the Anglosphere

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The Anglosphere refers to countries with English as the most common language such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Below is information on atheism in some Anglosphere countries/areas.

American atheism

See also: American atheism

David Silverman, ex-president of the American Atheists organization.

According to the 2014 General Social Survey (GSS), the number of atheists and agnostics in the United States has remained relatively stable in the past 23 years. In 1991, 2% of Americans identified as atheist, and 4% identified as agnostic. In 2014, 3% of Americans identified as atheists, and 5% identified as agnostics.[1]

In June 2016, American Interest reported:

First of all, religious belief is still very powerful and widespread, and there is nothing inevitable about its decline. In fact, the proportion of people who say they believe in God actually ticked modestly upward, from 86 percent to 89 percent, since Gallup last asked the question in 2014.[2]

Atheist Michael Nugent on the American atheist movement and its relationship to the global atheist movement

See also: Global atheism and Secular Europe and Atheist factions and Asian atheism

According to the Irish atheist Michael Nugent: "The atheist movement is global. It is not defined by the mostly American ‘deep rifts’ disagreements."[3]

Nugent further indicates:

‘Some of these more mainstream media analyses imply that there is a single ‘atheist movement’, and that it is best analysed through some opinions of some mostly American bloggers and activists who, while committed and sincere and doing good work, are not representative of atheist activism worldwide.’[3]

Post Elevatorgate (a July 2011 controversy in which the British new atheist Richard Dawkins was accused of misogny), there has been a lot of friction with the atheist movement (see: Atheist factions).

Various American atheists attacking the British new atheist Richard Dawkins resulted in a marked decline in Dawkins' influence/popularity and helped cause a very significant decline in the atheist movement as a whole (see also: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence and Decline of the atheist movement and British atheism). In addition, there is very little cooperation between Anglosphere atheists and other other atheists such as Asian atheists (most atheists are probably East Asians).

Nugent has spent a great deal of time publicly criticizing fellow atheist PZ Myers online, while at the same time criticizing Myers for publicly criticizing other atheists (Nugent privately asked Myers to change his behavior as well).[4][5]

In addition, Irish atheists have a reputation for being ill-tempered/quarrelsome just like their American counterparts.[6] According to the Irish Independent, "If there's one thing you can take for granted, it's that atheists tend to be a rather cranky bunch."[6] See also: Atheism and social/interpersonal intelligence

Furthermore, the global atheist population is shrinking as a percentage of the world's population (see: Global atheism statistics). Asian atheism is seeing a decline due to the explosive growth of Christianity in China (see: East Asia and global desecularization). As far as Europe, in Protestant Europe, France and the UK, the secularization rate is at zero (see: European desecularization in the 21st century).

British atheism

A Eurobarometer poll in 2010 reported that 37% of UK citizens "believed there is a God", 33% believe there is "some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".[7]

See also: British atheism

A Eurobarometer poll in 2010 reported that 37% of UK citizens "believed there is a God", 33% believe there is "some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".[8]

Britain has had a significant influence on global atheism through its promotion of the atheistic ideology of evolution.

In the beginning portion of the 21st century, various members of Britain's atheists/agnostics, for example Richard Dawkins, have engaged in aggressive atheism evangelism efforts. In addition, the late Christopher Hitchens was born in Britain and emigrated to the United States in 1981 was a high-profile atheist. However, the movement they lead, New Atheism, has significantly waned and is now essentially dead (see: Decline of New Atheism).

A sign of desecularization and/or the ending of secularization in Britain

See also: UK and secularism and Acceleration of 21st century desecularization

The Guardian published an article in 2017 entitled Nearly 50% are of no religion – but has UK hit ‘peak secular’? which declared:

But, Bullivant told the Observer that the “growth of no religion may have stalled”. After consistent decline, in the past few years the proportion of nones appears to have stabilised. “Younger people tend to be more non-religious, so you’d expect it to keep going – but it hasn’t. The steady growth of non-Christian religions is a contributing factor, but I wonder if everyone who is going to give up their Anglican affiliation has done so by now? We’ve seen a vast shedding of nominal Christianity, and perhaps it’s now down to its hardcore.[9]

In the United States, the vast majority of individuals who are "Nones"/"no religion" (people who are not part of organized religion) believe in the existence of God. Fewer than 15% of the "nones" consider themselves atheists.[10]

Conatus News reported in 2017:

Church of England worshippers increase 0.8 per cent since 2009. The number of non-religious people falls from 50.65% to 48.6%

Rise in Church of England worshippers likely due to resurgence in patriotism and pride in Christianity, a report has found

According to a new report, for every person brought up in a non-religious household who becomes a churchgoer, 26 people raised as Christians now identify as non-believers.

The study, which is based on an analysis of the British Social Attitudes Survey and the European Social Survey, reported that the proportion of non-religious in the UK hit a high of 50.6 per cent in 2009. However, it has been decreasing ever since and hit 48.6 per cent in 2015.

However, the proportion of those who identify as Church of England worshippers has seen a slight increased from 16.3 per cent in 2009 to 17.1 per cent in 2015.[11]

Australian atheism

See also: Irreligion in Australia

Australia's national IQ is 98.[12] The Daily Mail reported in 2014, "Evidence suggests that the IQs of people in the UK, Denmark and Australia have declined in the last decade."[13]

After WWII, Australia has become a very secular country.[14]

According to the Sydney Morning Herald:

Australia is one of the least devout countries in the Western world, although two-thirds of its population identifies itself as Christian, an international survey comparing religious expression in 21 countries has found.

Religion does not play a central part in the lives of many Australians: 48 per cent of Australians surveyed said they did not partake in personal prayer and 52 per cent said they rarely attended a place of worship for religious reasons.[15]

Australian atheist movement and the cancellation of 2018 Global Atheist Convention

See also: 2018 Global Atheist Convention that was cancelled and Atheist movement Decline of the atheist movement and Atheist feminism

The 2018 Global Atheist Convention that was cancelled was billed as the third Global Atheist Convention and its theme was "Reason to Hope".[16][17] It was sponsored by the Atheist Foundation of Australia.[18]

Robert Martin from Melbourne’s City Bible Forum indicated about the cancellation of the 2018 Global Atheist Convention: "This is a massive blow to the Atheist Foundation as an organisation and to organised atheism in Australia. Where to next? What do they stand for?”[19] According to Martin, fragmentation within today's atheist movement in Australia is a key reason that the convention may have been difficult to sell (see also: Atheist factions).[20]

A very sizable portion of the alt-right movement is made up of atheists. agnostics, and the non-religious (See: Atheism and the alt-right). The alt-right is influencing Australia politics.[21] The growth of the right-wing/alt-right atheism is creating divisions/infighting among atheists in the Western World due to political polarization (see: Western atheism, schisms and political polarization and Atheist factions).

Canada, atheism and agnosticism

See also: Canada and irreligion

A 2008 Canadian Press Harris-Decima telephone survey of just over 1,000 Canadians found that 23% indicated that they do not believe in any god (but this would include both atheists and agnostics).[22]

Irreligion and Ireland

According to the 2016 Irish Census, about 9.5% of Irish citizens are irreligious.[23] This number is thought to be somewhat higher due to citizens describing themselves as "cultural Catholics".[24] Traditionally, Ireland has been devoutly Catholic throughout most of its history - including its modern history.[25]

Religion is declining in Ireland.[26] Currently Ireland ranks in the top 10 atheist populations in a survey which questioned 50,000 people from 57 countries across the globe.[27][28][29]

Irreligion in New Zealand

See also: Irreligion in New Zealand

In 2008, the International Social Survey Programme was conducted in New Zealand by Massey University.[30]

The results of this survey indicated that 72% of the population believed in the existence of God or a higher power, 15% are agnostic, and 13% are atheist (the survey had a 3% margin of error).[31]

Anglosphere atheists and a lack of evangelism in third world countries

See also: Atheism and apathy and Atheism and hedonism and Atheist activist and Evangelical atheism

Doing overseas evangelism/outreaches, often requires significant hardships/persecution. Anglosphere atheists have been unwilling to endure such hardships in order to spread atheistic ideology. On the other hand, historically, Anglosphere Christians have made great evangelism efforts to reach every people group across the earth. In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians.[32] See also: Atheism and hedonism and Atheism and apathy

See also


  1. Hout, Michael; Smith, Tom (March 2015). "Fewer Americans Affiliate with Organized Religions, Belief and Practice Unchanged: Key Findings from the 2014 General Social Survey" (PDF). General Social Survey. NORC
  2. Atheism is Rising, But…, American Interest
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The atheist movement is global. It is not defined by the mostly American ‘deep rifts’ disagreements." by Michael Nugent
  4. Michael Nugent vs. PZ Myers, Atheist Revolution website
  5. Michael Nugent website - Search "PZ Myers"
  6. 6.0 6.1 We're sorry. So very, very sorry. THE FIRST ATHEIST SCHISM?, Irish Independent
  7. Special Eurobarometer, biotechnology, p. 204". Fieldwork: Jan-Feb 2010.
  8. Special Eurobarometer, biotechnology, p. 204". Fieldwork: Jan-Feb 2010.
  9. Nearly 50% are of no religion – but has UK hit ‘peak secular’?, The Guardian, 2017
  10. Meet the 'Nones:' Spiritual but not religious
  11. British Patriotism Sees Number of Anglicans Rise and the Non-Religious Fall, Conatus News , 2017
  13. Are we becoming more STUPID? IQ scores are decreasing - and some experts argue it's because humans have reached their intellectual peak, Daily Mail, 2014
  14. Stephanie Painter, Vivienne Ryan and Bethany Hiatt, (15 June 2010). "Australians losing the faith". Newspaper. West Australian Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 15 June 2010
  15. God's OK, it's just the religion bit we don't like
  16. AFA Media Releases & Announcements
  17. AFA Media Releases & Announcements
  18. AFA Media Releases & Announcements
  19. Global Atheist Convention cancelled due to lack of interest, Eternity News
  20. Global Atheist Convention cancelled due to lack of interest, Eternity News
  21. How 'alt-right' ideology leaked into mainstream Australian politics – Behind the Lines podcast, The Guardian, 2017
  22. "Almost a quarter of Canadians don't believe in any god, new poll says". CBC News. Jun 3, 2008. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
  23. "Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 1 - Chapter 8 - Religion". Retrieved on 3 November 2017. “"The total number of people with no religion on a usual residence basis in April 2016 stood at 451,941 [of 4,761,900]"” 
  24. "Big rise in people with no faith but 84pc still Catholic", Independent. Retrieved on 2012-07-05. 
  25. "Cultural factors help cause surprise", Irish Times. Retrieved on 2012-07-05. 
  26. Faith, hope and secularity: Ireland on brink of change as church power wanes
  27. "Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism", Gallup. Retrieved on 2012-09-02. 
  28. "Religiosity Plummets In Ireland And Declines Worldwide; Atheism On The Rise",, 2012-08-08. Retrieved on 2012-09-07. 
  29. We're losing our faith faster than most countries as only 47pc say they are religious -
  30. "Religion In New Zealand: International Social Survey Programme" (PDF). Massey University.
  31. "Religion In New Zealand: International Social Survey Programme" (PDF). Massey University.
  32. Is Christianity taking over the planet?