The Story: A new survey finds that a majority of Americans personally believe in the existence of the devil and believe that demons can possess humans.
The Background: The latest YouGov research has found that more than half of all Americans (57%) believe in the existence of the devil and a slight majority (51%) believe in possession by evil spirits. Regardless of religious identity levels of belief top 50%, except for Jews, who theologically reject the idea of a sentient Satan. “Born-again” Christians are the most likely to both believe in the devil (86%) and possession (72%).
The Takeaways: Some of the more interesting findings from the survey include:
• Women are more likely than men to believe in the devil (61% to 53%) and demon possession (54% to 49%).
• A majority of all age groups believe the devil exists, with 45-64 year olds having the highest percentage of believers (62%) and the 30-44 range having the highest percentage of skeptics (30%).
• Republicans are more likely to believe in the devil than are Democrats (65% to 55%)
• Black (72%) and Hispanic (60%) Americans are more likely than whites (54%) to believe Satan is real.
• The college educated and those with less than a high school education are least likely to believe (48% and 49%) while high school grads, those with some college, and post graduates are most likely to believe (63%, 58%, and 51%).
• Belief is highest in the South (64%) and Midwest (56%).
• “Born again” Christians, Protestants, and Catholics are most likely to believe the devil exists (86%, 70%, and 66%) and demon possession is possible (72%, 59%, and 59%), while Jewish and Muslim Americans are the least likely religious groups to believe Satan is real (17% and 25%). Muslims are more likely to believe someone can be possessed an evil spirit (49%) than believe in the devil.
• Few Americans believe that possession occurs “very frequently” (6%) or “frequently” (9%). The exception is Muslim Americans, 60% of whom believe demon possession occurs frequently. Source…
My Takeaway: I actually was of the belief that those with less education were more prone to believe in the existence of Satan and demon-possession than those with more education.
The reason for my belief is that people tend to attribute their misfortunes, hardships and the like to the workings of Satan and evil forces at work. This survey has proven me wrong.
How accurate is it?