Islam is the most common state-endorsed religion as most Christian nations support their faith unofficially instead, research shows.
The Pew Research Centre in Washington DC analysed 199 countries and found that 43 have an official religion, 40 have a preferred religion, 106 including the US have no preferred religion and ten are actively hostile to religious institutions. These are former or currently communist countries such as China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and several former Soviet republics.
Some 27 governments around the world officially endorse Islam while Christianity is the state religion in only 13 countries including the UK, the report published by Mail Online showed.
But out of 40 governments which unofficially favour a particular religion, 28 legally or financially support Christianity.
The report reads: “In addition, countries with state-endorsed (or “established”) faiths tend to more severely regulate religious practice, including placing restrictions or bans on minority religious groups.’
“Most governments around the globe, however, are generally neutral toward religion,’ the report concludes.
The Pew Research Centre released the figures after it said Muslims would outnumber Christians by 2070. The religion’s share of the world’s population will equal the Christian share – at roughly 32 per cent each by 2070, the centre claimed.