A survey of 100,000 Danes in 2021 found that the majority (80%) of respondents experienced strong or very strong spiritual needs in the previous month.
The first study based on the 20-question survey was just published in Lancet Regional Health – Europe.
“We live in a society where religion and spirituality are taboo and something we rarely talk about with each other,” said Tobias Anker Stripp, a medical doctor and PhD student at the University of Southern Denmark, who is the lead author of the study. “What we believe in, why we are here, what happens when we die. And we might be led to believe that it’s not important, or something we shouldn’t concern ourselves within the healthcare system.”
Participants in the new study were asked about their need for finding inner peace and doing something for others, with these two topics being the most highly valued. Danes scored highest on the need for inner peace, followed by generativity, then existential needs, and finally religious needs. Roughly one-fifth of Danes reported a religious need — specifically, a need directly related to belief in something greater. Being affiliated with a religious or spiritual practice, regularly meditating or praying, and self-reported low health, low life satisfaction, or low well-being, increased the likelihood of having spiritual needs.