Wednesday, 14 September 2005, 23:38 GMT 00:38 UK

Africans trust religious leaders

By Grant Ferrett
BBC News

Nigerians identify themselves closely with their religion
Religious leaders are particularly trusted in Africa, a BBC World Service Who Runs Your World? survey of global attitudes towards power has revealed.
Three-quarters of those questioned in Africa identified religious leaders as the most trusted group, compared to only a third worldwide.
Politicians in Africa, as in the rest of the world, are the least trusted.
Less than a third believe their government reflects the people's will, with Nigerians especially unhappy.

Selection of facts and figures from the global survey

In Nigeria 85% of those questioned trusted religious leaders and a similar proportion were willing to give them more power.
Asked who had had the most influence on their decision-making over the past year, 13% of those surveyed in Africa said religious leaders. The global figure among more than 50,000 people questioned was just 5%.

Asked which was the most important in defining themselves, a majority of Africans put religion above any other factor.
Surprisingly few identified ethnicity as the most significant factor - just 6%, roughly the same as the rest of the world.
South Africa and East Africa bucked the trend, with people putting a greater emphasis on nationality.
And South Africa produced the highest figure of any country in the world when asked if the government reflected the will of the people - 59% of South African said yes.