A Palestinian boy plays with fireworks during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Gaza City, on Aug. 1. Muslims around the world are celebrating the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, refraining from eating, drinking, and smoking from dawn to dusk. Hatem Moussa/AP
Muslims in Dhaka, Bangladesh shop for delicacies used to break their fast during Ramadan, which begins Aug. 1. Pavel Rahman/AP
Libyans pray after breaking their fast on the first day of Ramadan, with a carpet portraying Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi at the square in rebel-held Benghazi, Libya, on Aug. 1. From Syria to Libya and Egypt, the uprisings and unrest gripping the Arab world have cast a pall on the start of Ramadan, when the traditional focus on piety appear likely be eclipsed by more unrest. Sergey Ponomarev/AP
A woman helps prepare 'Shofout,' a traditional Yemeni dish made with bread, yogurt, spices, and vegetables, ahead of a group Iftar on the first day of Ramadan, in Taghyeer Square in Sanaa, on Aug. 1. After six months of mass protests seeking to end president Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule, demonstrators vow to continue their sit-in at Taghyeer square through Ramadan until their demands are met. Jumana El Heloueh/Reuters
Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu (2nd l.) and Mustafa Demir, mayor of Fatih Municipality (3rd l.), give a symbolic fire to a cannon to start Iftar, the evening meal for breaking fast during Ramadan, on Aug. 1. Murad Sezer/Reuters
A whirling dervish in Istanbul, Turkey, performs before Iftar on Aug. 1. Murad Sezer/Reuters
Workers break fast at Riyadh's Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, on Aug. 1. Fahad Shadeed/Reuters
A boy takes part in a prayer at the new Grand Mosque in Strasbourg, France, on Aug. 1. Vincent Kessler/Reuters
The sun sets behind Al-hussein Mosque on the first day of Ramadan in Amman, Jordan, Aug. 1. Nader Daoud/AP
According to a new poll, religiosity worldwide is declining while more people say they are atheists. In the United States, a growing number consider themselves non-believers.
Rieke Havertz, Contributor /
August 15, 2012
Atheism is on the rise in the United States and elsewhere while religiosity is declining, according to a new worldwide poll. “The Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism,” conducted by WIN-Gallup International headquartered in Switzerland, found that the number of Americans who say they are “religious” dropped from 73 percent in 2005 – when the poll was last conducted – to 60 percent. Those who said they were “convinced” atheists rose from 1 to 5 percent. And 33 percent of the people polled said that they don’t consider themselves as a “religious person."