The prominent place of religion and of religious references in American public discourse is one of the most salient differences between the US and Europe. From elected officials taking the oath of office on the Bible, “In God We Trust” on coins and bills, “God Bless America” at the end of every speech and candidates speaking candidly about their beliefs, religion is seemingly everywhere.
This impression is strengthened when one looks at the numbers. Indeed, according to the Pew Research Center, 50% of Americans consider religion to be very important in their life while only 21% of Germans and 13% of French people feel the same way. And 55% of Americans attend weekly services. However, if one takes a less western-centric perspective, Europe is the secular exception in a world that remains religious to a large extent.