The world’s most committed Christians call Africa and Latin America home, according to a Pew Research Center report published Aug. 22.

Ethiopian Christians had the highest religious commitment, with 98 percent saying religion was very important in their lives.

Other African nations with high levels of religious commitment include Ghana (89 percent), Nigeria (82 percent) and South Africa (79 percent).

In 35 of the 84 nations assessed by Pew, two thirds or more of the Christian population affirmed high levels of religious commitment.

“All but three of these 35 countries are in sub-Saharan Africa or Latin America. (The three exceptions are the U.S., Malaysia and the Philippines.),” the report noted.

Religious expressions such as prayer and worship attendance were also significantly higher in Africa and Latin America than in other parts of the world.

Notable exceptions were the Philippines, which has the second highest level of Christians affirming faith as very important in their lives (91 percent), along with the U.S. at 68 percent and Malaysia at 67 percent.

Europe tended to have the fewest Christian respondents who said their faith was very important in the daily lives.

Denmark had the lowest number of respondents affirming this view (9 percent), followed by Estonia (10 percent), the United Kingdom (11 percent) and Germany and France (both at 12 percent).

“These findings reflect the broader pattern of Christianity’s ‘march southward’ from wealthy countries to developing ones,” the report said. “This phenomenon is particularly evident in sub-Saharan Africa, where Christianity is rapidly growing, largely due to high fertility rates.”

The full report is available here.

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