Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Beliefs Life Death & Spirituality

EASTER FAITH:  What do people believe?

According to a recent Harris Poll, 65% of Americans believe in the resurrection of Jesus.

Surveys of religious beliefs are common in the USA. I take a look at some findings related to the Easter story.

The story is from the Gospels, which can be found in the New Testament section of Bibles. Easter events begin with MaundyThursday or Good Friday (Some protestant groups skip Maundy Thursday). Jesus celebrated the Jewish Passover with his followers. He was betrayed and accused of wrongdoing. He was sentenced to die by crucifixion and buried. On Easter Sunday, his followers found his tomb empty, encountered Jesus in different situations, and spread the word of the resurrection. The Gospel of Luke reports the events beginning in Chapter 22.

A recent Harris Poll (16 December 2013) has some findings relevant to the Easter story. The survey of 2,250 adults was conducted between 13 and 18 November, 2013.

Belief in God is at 82% [54% reported they were absolutely certain there is a God.]

Belief that all or most of the New Testament is the Word of God 49%.

Belief in miracles 72%.

Belief in heaven 68%.

Belief that Jesus is God or the Son of God 68%.

Belief in the resurrection of Jesus 65%.

Does age make a difference? Yes it does. About half of young adults believe in the resurrection of Jesus compared to nearly 3/4 of older adults. Millenials are different from older Americans.

Belief in the survival of the soul after death 64%.

Belief in the devil 58%.

Belief in hell 58%

How many Americans are religious?
19% very religious
40% somewhat religious
23% not at all religious

Will Jesus return to earth?
Following the resurrection, Jesus met with his followers then ascended into heaven. Those present heard a voice saying Jesus will return. In 2013, Pew researchers asked Christians if they believed Jesus would return in the next 40 years. Just under half thought he definitely or probably would come back within 40 years.

See the Harris Poll for additional details including comparisons between 2013 and previous polls. There are other interesting questions and more refined analyses.

I found the Harris Poll Link down on some visits so here is a link to the UPI report about the same poll. And here is  the Reuters summary.
See the PewForum for many survey results. The Return of Christ Survey is from 26 March 2013

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