Andrew Parker

26 Godless Nations Where Atheism Reigns Supreme

As Americans, we might be pretty religious, but not every country in the world is like us. There are a ton of countries out there that have no idea about Sunday school or the word of God. Let’s take a look at 26 countries where atheism is the name of the game.


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In China, they’re big on the traditions that aren’t on the godly side. The ancient philosophy of Confucianism has played a big part in this, along with the nation’s modern policies. Confucianism focuses on earthly matters and social harmony, which means that many Chinese people find happiness in their community instead of in divine worship.


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Sweden is a pretty secular country, and there are a few reasons for this. The biggest one is its welfare system, which pretty much makes divine intervention useless. This system has given Swedes a strong social safety net, and many Swedes have confidence in getting support from their social structures instead of celestial beings. 

The Czech Republic

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Decades of political history have led to many Czechs questioning organized religion, so many of them just don’t bother with it. They’ve also got a culture that values intellectual freedom and personal independence over everything. Atheism has become a key part of their national character.

The United Kingdom

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The UK is still kind of religious, but they’ve got quite an atheist side, and many of their traditional religious ties are loosening up. The 2021 UK census showed a decline in the number of people identifying as Christians, while the number of atheists increased by 22.2 million. Many Brits value their right to individuality and choice to worship a God or not. 


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In Japan, people have a knack for celebrating Shinto and Buddhist traditions, but they’re not always sticking to the religious script. Here, they care more about the sense of community and aesthetics than the religious meaning behind them. They’re the kind of people to ring in the New Year at a temple just because it feels right.


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Norway is living proof that you don’t need to follow a religion to have a fulfilling life. It has some of the highest living standards on the planet, which could be because its people find so much happiness in the great outdoors. After all, wouldn’t you feel great if you saw the Aurora Borealis and fjords all the time?


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Dutch people really don’t beat around the bush, and that includes their take on religion. In the land of tulips and windmills, you can believe anything you want or don’t want because respect is a big part of their community. They’re huge champions of culture and believe in a life grounded in reason.


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France is famous for its fashion, and atheism is its biggest fashion statement. Liberty and fraternity are the foundations of French society. The country has a pretty strong separation between church and state, which has helped to create a French way of life that’s anything but religious.


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You’d be forgiven for thinking religion hasn’t made its way down under because most Australians are atheists. They’re strong believers in individual freedom, and it means lots of them are questioning traditional religious beliefs. Plus, the country has a history of being skeptical towards authority, including religion.

New Zealand

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Similarly, New Zealanders have quite a fresh-faced approach to life, which includes a more relaxed view of religion. This might be because it’s still a pretty new country, which means they care a lot more about celebrating diversity than old religious scripts. Even their education system teaches kids to think freely and respect everyone.


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Estonia has a pretty chilly attitude towards religion, and that’s not just because of the weather. It’s a leftover from when the country was under the Soviet Union’s rule and atheism was law. Fast-forward to today, and you’ve got a country where the people cherish personal space and inner reflection over religion.


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Germany is all about the brains, which includes its approach to religion. Thanks to some philosophers during the Enlightenment, a lot of Germans started questioning organized religion and everything that came with it. You’ve also got its world-class education system, which favors science and has created a country some people call the most “godless” on Earth.


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If you ever visit Iceland, you might think that gods are real because of the waterfalls and volcanoes. But the fact is, most Icelanders are actually atheists, and they care a lot more about the Earth under their feet than the heavens above. Sure, there are a few Norse myths still flying around, but that’s part of their cultural pride instead of literal belief.

South Korea

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In South Korea, people care a lot about the future and technology. The country has changed so quickly that traditional religious practices just can’t keep. Many young South Koreans are too busy focusing on exams and creating the next big thing to worry about ancient rituals, while South Korean society focuses a lot on societal harmony.


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Like quite a few European countries, Belgium has a habit of brewing beers and questioning authority. Intellectual freedom is a huge part of their society, and Belgians have a history of not simply obeying their leader, especially when it comes to religion. They’ve also got a mix of languages and cultures, so a one-size-fits-all belief system just doesn’t work here.


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Danes are known for being some of the happiest people in the world. What’s their secret? Well, it seems to come from their sense of community and the welfare system that’s always got their backs. They’ve definitely got faith, but it’s more in their government and each other than their approach to religion.


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It’s not easy to earn a Finnish person’s trust, but the people have a lot of it in their institutions. Their education system is big on promoting critical thinking and encouraging kids to question everything around them. Sure, the Lutheran Church is big here, but a lot of people just see it as one option among many.


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Everyone’s welcome in Canada, and that includes their beliefs. Since there are so many immigrants to the country, it’s no wonder they support a separation of church and state. The Canadian government wants everyone to feel free to explore spirituality in their own way, and that includes not following it at all.


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In the past, Austria might have dabbled a lot in Catholicism, but today, a lot of Austrians care more about cultural nostalgia than Sunday sermons. They love their traditions, like Christmas markets and church bells, but this comes from a place of community instead. It’s kind of wild to think about how they’re able to mix religion and atheism in such a comfortable way.


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A lot of people think Spain’s one of the most religious countries in Europe, but that’s not exactly true. Modernization and education have led Spaniards to question things they took for granted, including religion. Today, Spain is all about freedom and individualism instead of religion, which is a pretty big change from the past.


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When you think of Switzerland, what do you think of? Most people think about them being neutral, and that’s not just about their wars. Here, they care a lot about privacy, which includes the freedom to think and believe what you think. Direct democracy allows everyone to have a say on how much religion influences the public. It turns out that’s not a whole lot.


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Ireland has made a huge change from being a strongly Catholic country to a place where religion isn’t as important anymore. The biggest causes of this? Modernization and unhappiness with the church. Today, a lot of Irish people support a more diverse and inclusive view of the world instead of the one taught to them by religion.


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Attitudes in Italy are changing slowly but surely from its Catholic roots to something more secular. A lot of Italians are rediscovering their Renaissance roots and thinking about the potential of science and humanity over religion. For many of them, Catholicism is more of a family tradition than a rulebook for them to follow.


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The idea of questioning the heavens isn’t anything new in Greece. After all, this is the place where philosophers like Socrates and Pluto turned skepticism into a sport. But today, being Greek and religious can mean you’re following Orthodox rituals, or it could just mean you love the myths of the past.


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Next up, we’ve got Russia. Is this one really a surprise? In the past, the nation’s leaders forced atheism on the people, but people are still following it today, and not just because the state says so. Of course, the Russian Orthodox Church is still a thing, although it’s not really as important for the people as their sense of secularism.


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Hungary has some pretty strong roots in religion, but it seems like it’s been abandoning them recently. The country’s seen it all, including Ottoman rule and a long Soviet winter, and each era has left its mark on how the people think about the big questions. Now, you’ll find many Hungarians taking a more relaxed view of religion.

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