The Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures (GRF) project aims to produce transformational, crossover advances in our understanding of the dynamics of religious change. The project began twelve years ago with a vision of studying religion not, as in the past, through the lens of history, philosophy, or theology, but through the latest techniques in quantitative data collection and analysis. Combining the resources of two foundations, a world-class research team was developed to estimate the size of religious populations, project their growth trajectories, and measure their beliefs and practices.
In Phase VII, the Pew-Templeton GRF will explore religious practices, beliefs, and identities in six East Asian countries and territories: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Mongolia. A major goal will be to move beyond the application of concepts originating from Abrahamic religions to a deeper understanding of the diverse landscape of religious and spiritual perspectives across East Asia. This phase of the GRF will continue three focal areas: cross-national survey research, demographic analysis of religious change and its determinants, and measurement of restrictions on religion. The results of this research will describe the shifts in religion that took place globally from 2010 to 2020, estimate the religious composition of international migrants, and collect input data for new projections based on the round of censuses collected around the year 2020. With enhancements to increase the accessibility of GRF data online, this next phase will ensure that the Global Religious Futures project continues to be the definitive source of global information on religious demography, religious beliefs and practices, and restrictions on religious freedoms as well as a preeminent authority for scholars, policymakers, journalists, and others seeking unbiased data on the world’s major religious groups.