In recent history, societies have become wealthier, healthier and more democratic but also more secular, more open and more tolerant.
After a court ruling paved the way for nontraditional religions to take part, a "Pastafarian" pastor from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster led prayers at a local assembly meeting in Alaska Tuesday.
France has been a secular country since it passed a law separating the church and the state in 1905.
A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding attackers in Bangladesh on Tuesday, the third killing of an online critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority nation in less than three months.
There are almost 8 percent more religiously unaffiliated Americans than there were in 2007.