The Czech Republic frequently tops lists of the world’s least-religious or most atheist-friendly countries, with many owing that fact to the years of communist rule (strangely, though, neighboring countries under that same rule such as Poland and Slovakia have retained their strong Catholic roots.)
Typically, only China registers a higher percentage of citizens with no religious affiliation – which puts an interesting spin on the recent boom in Czech-Chinese relations.
Sweden, Denmark, and Austria are among the other European countries with a high percentage of atheist or irreligious citizenry.
And in many countries, the road to atheism has been a steady one.
A 2011 study by the American Physical Society went unnoticed when reported by the BBC five years ago, but it blew up on social media and Reddit yesterday, receiving over 500 comments and 4000 upvotes.
Their findings? In nine countries across the globe, religion may become extinct.
Researchers for the study analysed census data going back as far as the 1800s to examine the number of citizens across those countries that identified themselves as being without religious affiliation.
No surprise: the Czech Republic tops the list, with 60% of its population registered as being unaffiliated with any religion.
Other countries identified by the study were Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Using a nonlinear dynamics model, the study found that the decline in religious affiliation shared similarities across all of these countries – and that the mathematical trend would eventually lead to religion becoming extinct in them.
Is a God-free future on the horizon? If so, the Czech Republic may be leading the pack.