In this study, we have re-analysed the findings of Wayfairer Travel (2018) (1), in order to rank countries according to their spirituality.

The Wayfairer Travel study, while utilizing objective numbers for spirituality (2), was flawed in several respects.

First, in the Wayfairer study, countries were given higher scores for spirituality based on having, objectively, higher scores for  “Religious Diversity”, “Religious Freedom”, and “Religious Tolerance”. But as Assmann (2009) has demonstrated, the reverse correlation obtains (3). Diversity, freedom, and tolerance, correlate strongly with lower levels of religiosity in the evolution of religion. We have therefore treated a “7” as a “1”, “6” as “2”, etc,  for the purpose of calculating our “Assmannian Spirituality Index Score”.

Second, we have eliminated the measures of “wellness” and “quality” of life. As Marx’s (1844) study shows, levels of spirituality remain high for those who stand to benefit economically from the system which it ideologically sustains, and comprises “at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering”–not to mention, the “sigh of the oppressed creature” (4).

Third, the category “Spiritual Sights” from the Wayfairer study, while of interest to Spiritual Tourists, does not adequately reflect the emic spirituality of the country, so has likewise been discarded.

Fourth, given the overlap of the variables “Religious Diversity”, “Religious Freedom”, and “Religious Tolerance”, and after calculating the Cronbach alpha, we have altered the weighting of the calculation of the Assmannian Spirituality Index Score, with 50% of the weighting given to these three variables (albeit with reverse scores to the original Wayfairer study), and the remaining 50% weighting given to the “Religious Population” variable.

The results show that New Zealand and Japan are the least spiritual countries in the world. Egypt and Yemen are the most spiritual countries, closely followed by Afghanistan and Jordan (a finding which correlates negatively with their popularity for Spiritual Tourism).

Country Religious diversity Religious population Religious Freedom Religious Tolerance Assmannian Spirituality Index Score
1 Egypt 2 7 1 3 6.500000
1 Yemen 3 7 2 1 6.500000
3 Afghanistan 5 7 1 1 6.333333
3 Jordan 4 7 1 2 6.333333
5 Sudan 3 6 1 2 6.000000
6 Syria 2 5 1 1 5.833333
7 Qatar 5 7 2 4 5.666667
7 Morocco 3 6 1 4 5.666667
7 Algeria 2 6 2 4 5.666667
7 Kuwait 5 6 2 1 5.666667
7 Iraq 3 5 1 1 5.666667
12 Ethiopia 3 7 2 7 5.500000
12 Laos 4 7 1 7 5.500000
12 Kenya 5 6 3 1 5.500000
12 Uganda 5 6 3 1 5.500000
16 Bangladesh 6 6 2 2 5.333333
16 Tunisia 2 6 2 6 5.333333
16 Sri Lanka 4 7 2 7 5.333333
19 Armenia 2 6 2 7 5.166667
19 Mecedonia 2 5 4 2 5.166667
21 Cambodia 4 7 4 7 5.000000
21 Bahrain 6 6 1 5 5.000000
21 Georgia 2 6 3 7 5.000000
21 Guatemala 3 5 5 1 5.000000
21 Pakistan 6 5 1 2 5.000000
26 Bolivia 3 5 5 2 4.833333
26 Tanzania 5 5 3 2 4.833333
26 Thailand 5 6 2 6 4.833333
26 Saudi Arabia 5 6 1 7 4.833333
26 United Arab Emirates 5 6 2 6 4.833333
26 Fiji 5 6 5 3 4.833333
32 Ghana 4 7 6 7 4.666667
32 Namibia 3 6 7 4 4.666667
32 Zimbabwe 5 5 4 2 4.666667
32 Lebanon 3 4 3 2 4.666667
36 South Africa 7 6 7 1 4.500000
36 Paraguay 3 6 6 6 4.500000
36 Poland 3 5 4 5 4.500000
36 Angola 3 5 2 7 4.500000
40 Indonesia 6 4 1 3 4.333333
40 Nigeria 5 4 3 2 4.333333
40 Venezuela 4 4 4 2 4.333333
40 Nepal 6 6 3 7 4.333333
40 Honduras 5 5 5 3 4.333333
45 Spain 6 6 4 7 4.166667
45 Nicaragua 3 5 4 7 4.166667
45 Romania 2 4 2 7 4.166667
45 Moldova 1 4 3 7 4.166667
45 Papua New Guinea 3 4 7 1 4.166667
45 Malaysia 6 3 1 1 4.166667
51 Dominican Republic 6 5 6 3 4.000000
51 Turkey 6 4 1 5 4.000000
51 Russia 6 3 1 2 4.000000
51 Serbia 2 3 3 4 4.000000
55 Greece 4 3 3 3 3.833333
55 Coratia 2 3 5 3 3.833333
55 Bosnia & Herzegovina 2 3 4 4 3.833333
55 Jamaica 3 3 5 2 3.833333
55 Malta 3 5 6 7 3.833333
55 Iran 5 4 1 7 3.833333
55 Haiti 3 4 6 4 3.833333
62 India 7 4 2 5 3.666667
62 Costa Rica 3 4 4 7 3.666667
62 Bulgaria 2 2 2 4 3.666667
62 Slovakia 2 2 3 3 3.666667
66 Peru 4 4 4 7 3.500000
66 Colombia 4 4 5 6 3.500000
66 Cyprus 3 3 4 5 3.500000
66 Lithuania 2 2 4 3 3.500000
70 El Salvador 3 4 6 7 3.333333
70 Singapore 5 3 1 7 3.333333
72 Chile 5 3 5 4 3.166667
72 Ukraine 6 3 3 5 3.166667
72 Philippines 7 5 7 6 3.166667
72 Finland 2 2 4 5 3.166667
72 Latvia 3 2 4 4 3.166667
72 Azerbaijan 2 1 1 5 3.166667
72 Belarus 2 1 1 5 3.166667
79 Botswana 5 4 7 6 3.000000
79 Ecuador 2 3 7 6 3.000000
79 France 7 2 3 2 3.000000
79 Denmark 4 2 3 5 3.000000
79 Belgium 6 2 3 3 3.000000
84 Brazil 6 4 7 6 2.833333
84 Panama 6 4 6 7 2.833333
84 Mexico 6 3 3 7 2.833333
84 USA 7 2 3 3 2.833333
84 Republic of Ireland 5 2 6 2 2.833333
89 Italy 7 3 5 5 2.666667
89 Hungary 3 1 4 4 2.666667
91 Argentina 6 3 5 7 2.500000
91 Israel 6 1 2 4 2.500000
93 South Korea 5 2 5 6 2.333333
93 Slovenia 2 2 7 7 2.333333
93 Iceland 6 2 3 7 2.333333
93 China 6 1 1 6 2.333333
93 Sweden 7 1 3 3 2.333333
93 Vietnam 6 1 2 5 2.333333
93 Estonia 4 1 6 3 2.333333
100 Germany 7 1 2 5 2.166667
100 Czech Republic 2 1 6 6 2.166667
100 Albania 3 1 4 7 2.166667
103 Portugal 5 2 6 7 2.000000
103 Uruguay 4 2 7 7 2.000000
103 Austria 5 1 3 7 2.000000
103 Norway 5 1 4 6 2.000000
107 Canada 7 2 6 6 1.833333
107 Taiwan 5 2 7 7 1.833333
107 Luxembourg 4 1 5 7 1.833333
110 United Kingdom 7 1 5 5 1.666667
110 Australia 7 1 6 4 1.666667
110 Switzerland 6 1 4 7 1.666667
110 Netherlands 7 1 5 5 1.666667
114 Japan 6 1 6 6 1.500000
114 New Zealand 7 1 7 4 1.500000

 

Notes:

(1) Walid Haji, “Discover the world’s most spiritual countries in our Global Spirituality Index“, Wayfairer Travel (2018)

(2) Objective surveys of spirituality from the following sources:
http://www.pewforum.org/files/2015/02/Restrictions2015_GRI.pdf

https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/GWI_WellnessEconomyMonitor2017_FINALweb.pdf

http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Fear-of-crime/Violent-hate-crime

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religions_by_country

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/most-religious-countries-in-the-world/

https://gostica.com/spiritual-lifestyle/top-10-spiritual-centers-with-strong-energy/

https://www.pacsafe.com/blog/6-most-spiritual-places-on-earth.html

http://consciouspanda.com/20-sacred-place-you-have-to-visit/

https://torontosun.com/2013/11/04/worlds-most-spiritual-mystical-destinations/

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/quality-of-life-full-list

 

(3) Jan Assmann, The Price of Monotheism, trans. Robert Savage (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009); cf. e.g., Hume, Natural History of Religion (1757).

(4) Karl Marx, ‘Introduction’ to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Collected Works, vol. 3. New York, 2010 [1844].

 

September 2018