FROM ONE GOD TO NO GOD – the rise of the non-religious in the Arab World

FROM ONE GOD TO NO GOD – the rise of the non-religious in the Arab World

Arabs are increasingly saying they are no longer religious, according to the largest and most in-depth survey undertaken of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  The finding is one of a number on how Arabs feel about a wide range of issues, from women’s rights and migration to security and sexuality.

More than 25,000 people were interviewed for the survey – for BBC News Arabic by the Arab Barometer research network – across 10 countries and the Palestinian territories between late 2018 and spring 2019.

One of the most significant findings was the increase in irreligiosity.  Since 2013, the number of people across the region identifying as “not religious” has risen from 8% to 13%. The fact that one-third of MENA’s population is under the age of 15 is a key factor in this regard.  The growth of ‘the nons’ (the non-religious) is greatest in the under 30s, among whom 18% identify as not religious, according to the research. Only Yemen saw a fall in the category.

The following video by the BBC gives a summary of the findings:

For the full article go to:

From a Christian perspective, this confirms the necessity for new initiatives and new strategies when reaching out to the people of this region.  The one Pastor in Egypt explained it as follows:  “I know how to reach my Muslim neighbour with the message of Christ, but I have never been trained how to reach an Atheist.”

Churches, organizations, and ministries should contemplate a new approach when reaching out to the unreached in a region that is experiencing a shift in faith, not from Islam to Christianity, but from One God to No God.


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