In the United States, public displays of piety are an integral part of life through much of the country.
Of the most advanced industrial nations, the United States is the most religious. Popular piety and other forms of religious worship are so well established in the USA, because Church and State have been separated since the nation's founding (over 200 years), religious worship of all forms are allowed, and religious persecution is not tolerated under the Constitution. Religious worship has been and is voluntary and respected. Europe, on the other hand, has experienced a long history of the Church's detrimental power, including numerous religious persecutions, whilst also suffering from religion-based conflicts. These historical differences in part explain both the lack of popular piety in many European countries and regions, and the common public displays of piety in the USA.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.