Africans trust religious leaders

London, England - 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.

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.