Lack of religious conviction or activity may be marked by a lack of church attendance or other observance of religious customs, but does not necessarily mean that people leave their nominal church; they may remain within it but simply not practice religion in any particular form. Religious apathy may also be taken to mean an unquestioning attitude towards religious doctrine.
Lack of outward religious conviction but nominal adherence to a religion is widespread in Western industrialized countries. An unquestioning acceptance of religious doctrine is found particularly among poor people in developing countries.
Great numbers are drifting little by little into religious indifferentism, or are continuing in danger of keeping the faith without the dynamism that is necessary, a faith without effective influence on their actual lives. The question now is not one of merely preserving traditional religious customs, but rather one of also fostering an appropriate re-evangelization of men, obtaining their reconversion, and giving them a deeper and more mature education in the faith. Many baptized persons have withdrawn so far from their religion that they profess a form of indifferentism or something close to atheism. (Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, General Cathechetical Directory, 1971).