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Belief survey

June 2011

Belief survey

 

The majority of people across the globe believe in a god-figure and an afterlife, according to a wide-ranging Ipsos/Reuters poll.

     Fifty-one per cent of the 18,829 people from 23 countries who took part in the Reuters survey said they were convinced there is an afterlife and a divine entity, while 18 per cent said they don’t believe in a god and 17 per cent weren’t sure.

     The survey also revealed that only 28 per cent believe in creationism — defined as the belief that a god created humans, compared to 41 per cent who believe in human evolution and 31 per cent who simply don’t know what to believe.

     Some 50 per cent of those questioned think there is something after death, although nearly a quarter do not believe it will be a ‘heaven or hell’ scenario. Muslim-dominated countries Turkey and Indonesia, together with Brazil which is predominantly Catholic, had the highest proportion of people who had a definitive belief in God.

     Some 24 per cent of Indians, 14 per cent of Chinese and 10 per cent of Russians were most likely to be polytheistic.

     Quoted in Reuters, Bobby Duffy, the London-based managing director of the Social Research Institute at Ipsos, said, ‘This survey shows how important spiritual life is to so many. The other interesting thing is that such a large proportion of the remaining people are not sure there is a spiritual explanation either for how they got here or what happens after they die’.

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