Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Do you believe in reincarnation?" (2008 European Values Study)

Here are some cherry picked results (by country) for what percentage of people answered "yes" to Question 31 on the 2008 European Values Study: "Do you believe in reincarnation?" (Numbers in parentheses are total population for each country.)

Latvia 41.9% (2.3M)
Lithuania 37.4% (3.4M)
Ukraine 37.1% (46.3M)
Russian Federation 33.0% (142.0M)
Portugal 31.4% (10.6M)
Estonia 30.7% (1.3M)
Belarus 30.6% (9.9M)
Ireland 30.5% (4.4M)
Austria 28.8% (8.3M)
Switzerland 28.0% (7.6M)
Finland 24.7% (5.3M)
Hungary 23.2% (10.0M)
Spain 23.1% (45.6M)
Serbia 22.6% (7.4M)
France 22.6% (62.3M)
Bosnia-Herzegovina 22.4% (3.8M)
Romania 21.8% (21.5M)
Armenia 21.5% (3.1M)
Albania 19.1% (3.1M)
Netherlands 18.8% (16.4M)
Germany 18.4% (82.1M)
Belgium 17.5% (10.7M)
Azerbaijan 7.1% (8.7M)

From the website of the European Values Study:
The first release of the 2008 European Values Study is now available. It contains data for 39 countries. In autumn 2010, the complete dataset will be available. Go directly to data and downloads.

This fourth wave of the European Values Study covers all countries of Europe, from Iceland to Azerbaijan and from Portugal to Norway, with a population of 100,000 and more. In total, the fieldwork is administered in 46 countries:

Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great-Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia Republic, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.

In each country, a random sample was drawn and 1,500 persons were interviewed personally (face-to-face interviews). Almost 70,000 Europeans participated in the European Values Study 2008. This fourth wave has a persistent focus on a broad range of values. Questions with respect to family, work, religious, political and societal values are highly comparable with those in earlier waves (1981, 1990 and 1999). This longitudinal scope of the study offers opportunities to explore trends in time. The data cover a whole generation: almost 30 years. Respondents answered about 250 questions; on average, it took about 70 minutes to complete an interview.

Large efforts were taken to guarantee high scientific quality standards of the survey. First, all existing questions were critically reviewed by a theory group which also proposed new questions and items to be added to the questionnaire. This group also made sure that all questions were standardized between waves and between countries. A serious improvement is the rich set of socio-demographic background variables which was added to the questionnaire, facilitating far reaching analyses of the determinants of values. The council of National Program Directors critically reviewed this process and approved the final master questionnaire. In addition, the translation process, fieldwork procedures and data processing were standardized according to strict guidelines developed by a Methodology Group. More information about these procedures, click here.

The National Program Directors were responsible for the fieldwork in their country. Coordination of the fieldwork was done by EVS at Tilburg University, CEPS/Instead , and GESIS.

Due to the high quality standards, data collection was very costly: almost 6 million Euros. For an overview of the sponsors of the 2008 European Values Study, click here.

  • Master questionnaire
  • Methods and sample
  • Participating countries and country-information
  • Where to get the data
  • Geert Wilders To Launch "International Freedom Alliance"

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An anti-Islam lawmaker in the Netherlands is forming an international alliance to spread his message across the West in a bid to ban immigration from Islamic countries, among other goals.

    Geert Wilders told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday he will launch the movement late this year, initially in five countries: the U.S., Canada, Britain, France and Germany.

    "The message, 'stop Islam, defend freedom,' is a message that's not only important for the Netherlands but for the whole free Western world," Wilders said at the Dutch parliament.

    Among the group's aims will be outlawing immigration from Islamic countries to the West and a ban on Islamic Sharia law. Starting as a grass-roots movement, he hopes it eventually will produce its own lawmakers or influence other legislators.

    Ayhan Tonca, a prominent spokesman for Dutch Muslims, said he feared Wilders message would fall on fertile ground in much of Europe, where anti-Islam sentiment has been swelling for years.

    "So long as things are going badly with the economy, a lot of people always need a scapegoat," Tonca said. "At the moment, that is the Muslims in Western Europe."

    Tonca called on "well meaning people in Europe to oppose this."

    Known for his bleached-blond mop of hair, Wilders is a shrewd politician who has won awards in the Netherlands for his debating skills and regularly stands up for gay and women's rights.

    But he rose to local and then international prominence with his firebrand anti-Islam rhetoric that has led to him being charged under Dutch anti-hate speech laws and banned from visiting Britain — until a court there ordered that he be allowed into the country.

    He said he hopes to position the alliance between traditional conservative parties and far-right wing groups, saying that in Britain there is "an enormous gap" between the ruling Conservative Party and the far-right British National Party.

    "The BNP is a party that, whatever you think of it, it's not my party — I think it's a racist party," Wilders said.

    Wilders, who calls Islam a "fascist" religion, has seen his support in the Netherlands soar in recent years, even while he has been subjected to round-the-clock protection because of death threats.

    His Freedom Party won the biggest gains in a national election last month, coming third with 24 seats in the 150-seat Parliament, up from the nine before the election.

    However, mainstream parties will not form a coalition with Wilders, leaving him on the margins of Dutch politics for the next parliamentary term.

    Wilders is due to stand trial in October on hate speech charges stemming from his short Internet film "Fitna," which denounced the Quran as a a fascist book that inspires terrorism. The film aroused anti-Dutch protests around the Muslim world, and he was banned for several months from entering Britain.

    But he is unrepentant and said he now wants to take his message outside the Netherlands.

    "The fight for freedom and (against) Islamization as I see it is a worldwide phenomenon and problem to be solved," he said.

    Wilders declined to name any of the other founders of the organization he is calling the Geert Wilders International Freedom Alliance. He said he would hold speeches in the five countries where the alliance will first launch in coming months to drum up support.

    Wilders has been criticized in the Netherlands for running his party as a one-man show that is shrouded in secrecy because he holds all the reins.

    [SOURCE: MIKE CORDER Associated Press Writer © 2010 The Associated Press]