The secularisation drive of recent years does not appear to have alienated people from their Catholic roots, a MaltaToday survey has found.
A whopping 93.9% of people still identify themselves as Catholic and any suggestion to remove Catholicism as the country’s official religion is bound to encounter resistance.
The survey found that 88.8% of people were against the removal from the Constitution of Catholicism as Malta’s official religion. An even stronger majority was against the removal of the crucifix from public buildings such as schools.
Opposition to the constitutional change – suggested recently by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and unopposed by the bishops – and the removal of the crucifix from public buildings runs uniformly across all age groups, all regions and is irrespective of political inclination.
In a country that approved of divorce legislation with a strong majority in a 2011 referendum and introduced same-sex marriage last year, the survey results suggest that Catholicism could also be a cultural identity for many people, irrespective of how committed they are to the faith.
The survey conducted between 21 and 27 March found that 3.9% of people identified themselves as atheist, with the next largest bloc being adherents of other Christian denominations (1.3%).
One can read more about this Survey published on Maltatoday here.