(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Religion is perceived as playing a big role in the Middle East and young Arabs are calling for reforms in religious institutions, according to the 11th ASDA'A BCW Arab Youth Survey released on Tuesday.
Almost seven out of 10, or 66 per cent of the 3,300 respondents aged between 18 to 24 from 15 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, say that religion is too influential in the region. This figure is up by 16 per cent when compared to the 2015 survey.
No particular religion was cited but almost eight out of 10 or 79 per cent of young Arabs are seeking reforms in religious institutions.
Half of young Arabs also say religious values are holding the region back - and this perception is highest among the youth in Levant at 61 per cent and lowest in Gulf countries at 45 per cent.
"This year's finding shows that youth are looking at their governments to reshuffle their priorities, especially when it comes to the role played by religion and seemingly endless conflicts - and they want to see change," said Sunil John, president of ASDA'A BCW, the PR consultancy firm that commissioned the independent survey.
Meanwhile, a majority of young Arabs says drugs are easy to get in their country and drug users are on the rise, particularly in Levant and North Africa.
Encouragement by friends at school or work and to fight stress and boredom are some of the reasons why the young turn to drugs while efficient law enforcement, better awareness and more rehabilitation and counselling services, are needed to curb the drug menace.