The Balkan Bright Spot in God-Linked Morality

By Mladen Aleksic
Worshippers gather around candles stuck to jars of honey, arranged as a cross, during mass for the 'sanctification of honey' at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin church in the town of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Valentina Petrova / AP Images 
To be moral, it is necessary to believe in God. While this statement may be axiomatic to many American evangelicals, only three nations increasingly agree. At the top of the list: Bulgaria. According to a recently published survey of 34 countries by the Pew Research Center, in 2019 half of all Bulgarians said it was necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values. Bulgaria’s 17-point increase (from 33% to 50%) was rivaled only by Russia (from 26% to 37%) and Japan (from 29% to 39%). The United States, by contrast, leads the world in decline. Though 75 percent of evangelicals still agree with the God-morality link, the overall share of Americans who say the same has decreased from 58 percent to 44 percent. [More

Pew Research Center - July 2, 2020,