Prayer, belief in God at all-time low in U.S.

According to a new analysis of a decades-long survey, twice as many Americans said they did not believe in God in 2014 compared with the early 1980s, and five times as many said they never prayed.

The study, led by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge, found the percentage of Americans who believe in God or prayed reached an all-time low two years ago. Americans were also less likely to describe themselves as religious, attend services or believe the bible is divinely inspired.

The results stemmed from analysis of the General Social Survey, a poll of 58,893 Americans from 1972 to 2014.

While Americans are generally more secular, there was one discrepancy within the broader results: Researchers saw a slight uptick in belief in the afterlife.

“It was interesting that fewer people participated in religion or prayed but more believed in an afterlife,” Twenge said. “It might be part of a growing entitlement mentality — thinking you can get something for nothing.”

Majority in Norway don’t believe in God

A survey from the Norwegian Monitor shows that nonbelievers in God now are higher in number than those who do believe.

Nearly 40% of respondents said they did not believe in God, more than the 37% who answered “yes” to the same question. Another 23 percent said they did not know.

The survey, which was mailed to 4,000 Norwegians, denotes the first time that nonbelievers outnumber the religious. Two years ago, the number of believers and nonbelievers was equal. When the question was first asked in 1985, 50 percent said they believed in God while 20 percent did not.

The survey also showed that women are more likely to believe in God than men and that faith in God is stronger among the old than the young.

No religion for more than half in Scotland

A survey published by Scottish Social Attitudes shows that more than half of the 5.4 million people living in Scotland have no religion.

The 52 percent of unaffiliated Scots represents a 12 percent jump from 16 years ago.

The proportion of people who say they belong to the Church of Scotland — the Presbyterian Church that for so long dominated almost every aspect of life in that country — has fallen dramatically, to just 20 percent, down from 39 percent of the population in 1999.

Freedom From Religion Foundation