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Religiosity Plummets In Ireland And Declines Worldwide; Atheism On The Rise

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Rocked in recent years by sex-abuse scandals and crises in leadership, the Catholic Church in the Republic of Ireland has been struggling to keep its members close.

But this week, a new global survey on faith and atheism has revealed that the crisis of faith in Ireland may be much worse than previously thought.

According to the poll released by WIN-Gallup International, the traditionally Catholic country has seen one of the steepest drops worldwide in religiosity.

The poll -- which was based on interviews with more than 50,000 people selected from 57 countries -- asked participants, "irrespective of whether they attended a place of worship, if they considered themselves to be religious, not religious, or an atheist."

In Ireland, only 47 percent of those polled said they considered themselves religious -- a 22-point drop from the 69 percent recorded in a similar poll...

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