Beliefnet polls about how people are selected to spend eternity in Heaven or Hell:
Beliefnet is a multi-faith site. As such its
visitors may well be weighted in favor of religious liberals and non-Christains.
Beliefnet.com conducted a poll during 2006-MAY which asked "Have you personally known people you think will probably go
to Hell?" Results show the division in North America between those who believe that being relegate to Heaven or Hell is
dependent on one's beliefs, or behavior.
35%: No, because I don't believe in Hell.
26%: Yes because they don't have the right
23%: Yes because of their immoral actions.
During 2007-JAN, Beliefnet.com conducted a similar poll asking: "Can good people outside your faith tradition attain
salvation as you understand it?" Five answers were provided. Results were:
58%: Yes, fully, if they are sincere in their attempts to know or worship a deity.
3%: Yes, but not fully.
1%: No, but they are not punished.
28%: No, and unfortunately, there are consequences.
9% I don't know.
Beliefs about supernatural entities other than God:
Belief in Satan:
Satan is an evil symbol, not a living entity
Strongly believe that Satan is a real person (2001)
Satan is real (2003). This question could have a wide variety of interpretations
* For more poll data on belief about Satan, see our
69% believe that Jesus actually changed water into wine at the wedding
feast at Cana.
68% believe that Jesus used five loaves of bread and two fish to feed
five thousand men.
64% believe in the world-wide flood and of Noah and his ark. However, several groups
did not regard it as a real event: Catholics, Atheists/Agnostics,
Northeasterners, "upscale" adults (those college graduates with a family
income over $75,000), and social/political liberals.
56% believe in the devil having tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit
of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Among Atheists/Agnostics, this
was believed by 8%.
49% believe in the story of Sampson losing his physical strength when
his hair was cut.
On average, born-again Christians were 40 percentage points more likely
to believe these stories than non-born again adults.
On average, those who considered themselves as political conservatives
were 26 percentage points more likely to believe the stories as literally
Southerners and persons of lower earnings were more likely to treat the
stories as literally true.
Trends in these beliefs:
In the U.S., the percentage of adults who identify as Christian has been dropping at about one percentage point per year for many years. The percentage of U.S. adults who we call "NOTAs" (those who are NOT Affiliated with any religious group) has been increasing at almost the same rate. The country is becoming more secular. We expect that the percentage of persons who reject traditional Christian beliefs is increasing and will continue this trend.
T. Hargrove & G.H. Stempel III, "Poll indicates a haunted
nation." Nando Times, 1999-OCT-27. Describes a poll by Scripps
Howard News Service and Ohio University during 1999-SEP/OCT. Margin of
A poll conducted for Newsweek magazine in 1999-JUN.
"Most Americans believe in ghosts: Survey shows 1/3 accept astrology,
1/4 reincarnation," WorldNetDaily, 2003-FEB-27. The data poll was
collected by Harris Poll from 2003-JAN-21 to 27. 2,201 subjects. Margin of