Iranians’ Attitudes Toward Religion: A 2020 Survey Report

Find here the full English report and methodology of GAMAAN’s survey on Iranians’ Attitudes Toward Religion – 2020

Survey summary

– The survey titled “Iranians’ attitudes toward religion”was conducted from June 6 to 21, 2020. Over 50 thousand respondents were surveyed, around 90% of whom lived in Iran.

– This study’s findings reflect the views of literate Iranian residents aged above 19, who comprise 85% of Iran’s adult population. The results can be generalized to the target population with a 95% credibility level and credibility intervals of 5%. The survey aimed to measure and document the attitudes of Iranians toward religion and related political concepts, none of which can be openly discussed in Iran due to the current restrictions.

– The results show that 78% of Iranians believe in God, 37% believe in life after death, 30% believe in heaven and hell, 26% believe jinns exist, and 26% believe in the coming of a savior. Around 20% of the target population does not believe in any of the abovementioned.

– While 32% of the population identifies as Shi’ite Muslim, around 9% identify as atheist, 8% as Zoroastrian, 7% as spiritual, 6% as agnostic, and 5% as Sunni Muslim. Others stated that they identify with or follow Sufi mysticism, humanism, Christianity, the Baha’i faith, or Judaism, among other worldviews. Around 22% identified with none of the above.

– Approximately half of the population reported losing their religion. On the other hand, 41% did not report significant changes in religious or non-religious views during their lifetime. Around 6% of the population said they had converted from one religious orientation to another.

– Around 60% reported that they do not pray, while around 40% differed in their reported frequency of praying, among whom over 27% reported praying five times a day.

– 61% of the population hails from a family environment characterized by belief in God and being religious, while 32% reported growing up in a “believing but not religious” family. Less than 3% was raised in an “unbelieving” or “anti-religious” family.

– 68% of the population believes that religious prescriptions should be excluded from state legislation, even if believers hold a parliamentary majority. However, 14% of the population thinks that the nation’s law should invariably accord with religious prescriptions.

– 71% hold the opinion that religious institutions should be responsible for their own funding. On the other hand, 10% thinks that all religious organizations, irrespective of their faith, should receive government support, while over 3% say only Islamic institutions are entitled to such benefits.

– 41% think that all religions should have a right to public proselytizing, while only 4% think this right should be exclusively reserved for Muslims. However, 43% of the population agreed with a blanket prohibition for all religions against proselytizing.

– 56% do not want their children to receive religious education at school, but around 54% approve of their children having the opportunity to learn about diverse faiths at school.

– 58% said they do not believe in the hijab (Islamic veil covering the hair) altogether. Around 72% opposed the compulsory hijab, while 15% insist on the legal obligation to wear the hijab in public.

– Despite legally enforced alcohol temperance, about 35% of the population drink occasionally or regularly. On the other hand, 56% report that they do not consume alcoholic drinks. Almost 9% does not drink due to their inability to purchase alcoholic drinks (either due to inaccessibility or high price).

Read the the full English report here

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