Amongst the French-speaking Belgian community 74% claim to have a religious identity, an Ipsos-ORELA-RTBF-Le Soir opinion poll revealed on Thursday. The majority claim to be Catholics; both practising (20%) and non-practising (43%).
In total, 26% of French-speaking Belgians are “non- believers, indifferent, atheists or agnostics.” They are more prevalent in Brussels (30%), than in Wallonia (25%) and seen more amongst men (38%) than women (14%).
Catholicism is significantly more endemic in Wallonia (with 68% – of whom 47% are lapsed) than in Brussels (with 40% – of whom 28% are lapsed).
Seven per cent of French-speakers claim to belong to the Islamist religion (of whom 1% are non-practising) and it is the most practised religion in Brussels (19% with a further 4% who are non-practising). Only 3% of French-speaking Walloons claim to be Muslim.
Moreover, 35% of those polled consider that religion is decreasing in importance. There are 94% of Muslims opposed to the concept that religion triggers violence. For Catholics, the jury is divided with 45% of them agreeing with this suggestion.
The opinion poll was conducted by telephone with 600 French-speaking Belgians aged 18 years and over (300 in Wallonia and 300 in Brussels) between January 12th and January 20th.