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Muslimish: Iran, Muslim-Minority Nation


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/09/27

GAMAAN — The Group for Analyzing and Measuring Attitudes in IRAN conducted a survey on the attitudes of Iranians towards religion. It was done between June 6th and 21st of this year. 50,000+ respondents took part in the survey, where about 90% of them lived in Iran.

The biases of the respondents to the surveys are being based out of Iran mostly, being literate and above the age of 19, while having “95% credibility level and credibility intervals of 5%” for the survey. Looking at religion also taps into some associated political concepts, too, one of the more presumptuous ideas about Iran is a nation of people who believe in a supernatural, governing, designing, and maintaining, entity: God.

78% of Iranians believe in God with less than half of that believing in an after life (37%), heaven and hell (30%), jinns (26%), and a coming saviour (26%). 1/5 believe do not believe in a God, an afterlife, heaven and hell, jinns, and a coming saviour. 60% of Iranians reported not praying and 40% varied in their frequency (devotion) to the level of praying, “among whom over 27% reported praying five times a day.”

GAMAAN reported, “While 32% of the population identifies as Shi’ite Muslim, around 9% identify as atheist, 8% as Zoroastrian, 7% as spiritual, 6% as agnostic, and 5% as Sunni Muslim. Others stated that they identify with or follow Sufi mysticism, humanism, Christianity, the Baha’i faith, or Judaism, among other worldviews. Around 22% identified with none of the above.”

Indeed, half of Iranians, based on the survey, report losing religion from personal life. 41% were stable while 6% changed “from one religious orientation to another.” About 6/10 Iranians came from a family who were religious believers in God and approximately 3/10 had a believing and not religious family — not sure as to the precise interpretive lens here. Less than 3/100 (not a typo) grew up or were raised in an anti-religious home. 68% believe the religious prescriptions should separate from state legislation; secularism appears as a fundamental desire to most Iranians. Only 14% think the laws of the country should be governing religious prescriptions, in “accord” with one another.

“71% hold the opinion that religious institutions should be responsible for their own funding. On the other hand, 10% thinks that all religious organizations, irrespective of their faith, should receive government support, while over 3% say only Islamic institutions are entitled to such benefits,” GAMAAN stated.

4 in 10 Iranians believe religions should have the right to proselytize their religion with only 4% believing in the exclusive right for Muslims. Another 4 in 10 believed in a blank ban on religious proselytizing across the board. 56% want secular education or not wanting their children to have religious education

GAMAAN said, “58% said they do not believe in the hijab (Islamic veil covering the hair) altogether. Around 72% opposed the compulsory hijab, while 15% insist on the legal obligation to wear the hijab in public.”

To the nightlife and drinking culture of Iran, there is “legally enforced alcohol temperance.” However, 35% of Iranians drink “occasionally or regularly” and 56% do not drink alcohol at all. For the full report, please kindly see here.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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