Most people believe in God – global poll


   Photo: Paul Burns, gettyimages.com    
Most people on the Earth believe in God


A new survey shows that 51% of people in the world believe in God. Only 18% don’t and 17% are undecided, reports the Christian Post.

More than 18,000 people from 23 countries participated in the poll conducted by global research company, Ipsos Social Research Institute.

The poll also found that 51% believe that there is an afterlife while 23% believe they will just "cease to exist". Around a quarter (26%) say they do not know what will happen after death.

Bobby Duffy, managing director of Ipsos, told Reuters, "It may seem to many that we live in a secular world but this survey shows just how important spiritual life is to so many global citizens with half saying they believe in a spiritual being and the same proportion in an afterlife of some sort or other."

According to the survey, “definitive belief in a God or Supreme Being" is highest in Indonesia (93%) and Turkey (91%), followed by Brazil (84%), South Africa (83%) and Mexico (78%).

Those most likely to believe in “many Gods or Supreme Beings” live in India (24%), China (14%) and Russia (10%).

People who don’t believe in God or a Supreme Being(s) are most likely to live in France (39%), Sweden (37%), Belgium (36%), Great Britain (34%), Japan (33%) and Germany (31%).

When it comes to “the sweet hereafter-or not…” category, ultimately half of the global population believe there is a form of afterlife. More than half of the people in Indonesia, South Africa, and Turkey believe in heaven or hell as opposed to the United States and Brazil, where less than 40% hold the same beliefs.


40% of respondents from Mexico believe in the afterlife but not heaven or hell.

Overall, nearly a quarter do not believe in a heaven or hell.

Belief in reincarnation is highest in Hungary where 13% say “you are ultimately reincarnated”. The belief is also popular in Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Argentina and Australia.

People who say they “don’t know what happens” after death are mostly located in Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, countries where people are most likely to believe they will cease to exist after death are South Korea with 40%, Spain with 40%, France with 39%, Japan with 37% and Belgium with 35% saying so.

In other findings, the survey revealed that 41% believe in human evolution, 28% believe in creationism and 31% are uncertain of what to believe in.

Creationism, or the belief that human beings were in fact created by a spiritual force such as God, is strongest in Saudi Arabia (75%), Turkey (60%), Indonesia (57%), and South Africa (56%).

Belief in evolution, or that the origin of man came from evolving from other species such as apes, is popular in Sweden, Germany, China, Belgium and Japan with over 60% of the population in each of the mentioned countries holding such belief.

The participating countries for the online survey were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America.



© 2011 The Institute for Religious Freedom Kyiv, Ukraine


Institute for Religious Freedom

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