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Worshippers at a mosque in Somalia, where 98% of people said religion was very important to them. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Pew's study on religion around the world shows significant generation gaps, with younger people less likely to consider religion a very important part of their lives.

The flipside: Populations are growing fastest in countries that tend to be very religious (particularly in sub-Saharan Africa) and shrinking in some of the world’s least religious countries (Japan, Eastern Europe). Thus, the authors write, “it is not necessarily the case that the world’s population, overall, is becoming less religious.”

  • The U.S. is right at the global average, with 53% of people considering religion a very important part of their lives. It is also a massive outlier: Every other country among the world’s wealthiest is far less religious. Compare: Canada (27%), U.K./Germany/Japan (all 10%), Israel (36%).
  • Religious observance tends to be higher in countries with lower levels of education and higher levels of income inequality. “Regardless of how religious commitment or prosperity are measured, the general pattern holds: Religious commitment is lower in places where life is easier.”

Go deeper

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters rallied outside fortified statehouses over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.