Looking for answers...New data exposes atheist movement
In countries such as Libya, Egypt, and much of the Middle East, the people's religion was dictated by rulers and representatives. There was no actual census conducted and so we deemed the countries to simply be of that religion and bunched the population into respective categories. This made much of the world's data on religion corrupt and skewed, but what about the West?
In the democratic West it's been the norm for over a century to conduct censuses which clearly asked people their religions. This forms would offer at first a simple set of choices of major religious groups, and below that it usually had an "Other:________" section. This was great for collecting data for the most part, but there is a flaw. The non-practicing associative "religious" members. These might be those who call themselves religious and don't practice, or even those who simply filled in the section based on their childhood (usually parent's) religion.
This has been a flaw in the collection of data for years and there is a growing movement to put an end to it. The atheist movement, or more formally the secular movement, is gaining ground at an incredible rate. Some compare the atheists and agnostics of the 2010's to the gays and lesbians of the 1980's. Well it's time to come out of the ideological closet for some and collect the real data.
In the UK this year there is a widespread campaign to get the real data. The British Humanist Association is focused on getting the people to speak out. Unfortunately in Canada, the Harper Govt. has decided to kill off the long-form census and some argue that these movements may just be the cause.
Cheers to getting the real story. Let's stop just making things up!