Factfile On... Religion 5 January 2001 Religion New Internationalist 331 Jan / Feb 2001 A person's relation to God, gods or spirits is called religion. The vast majority of people - two-thirds of the world's population - follow a religion. For many, dollars and deities seem interchangeable. Six out of ten people in the US pray for cash. In India, shop staff ask Lakshimi – the Hindu goddess of wealth – to bless the cash registers before they open for business. When a rumour started that the 999 emergency telephone number in Malaysia was a direct line with God, operators were swamped with calls asking for the winning numbers of the upcoming lottery. Fellow-national Pope John Paul II recently urged Poles to attend mass rather than shop on Sunday – their only official day off work. 1 Encyclopaedia Brittanica: www.brittanica.com 2 Colours magazine, No 37.