A PEW study was released yesterday that garnered a lot of attention. Some of the more unique bits:
The Spirituality of Atheists – 21% of Atheists believe in god. What this means is that Atheism has become a cultural designation, rather than a theological statement. Some are likely declaring themselves atheists as a statement of hostility to organized religion, rather than to God. This might help explain polls showing rising numbers of Atheists.
Evangelicals Similar to Muslims – In many questions, the group most similar to evangelicals was Muslims. For instance, 79% of evangelicals say religion is very important in their lives. The compares to 56% for the population as a whole, 56% among Catholics, 31% among Jews – and 72% among Muslims.
The Heaven-Hell Gap – 74% of Americans believe in heaven but only 59% believe in Hell. So where do serial killers go when they die?
Tolerance — 70% of Americans say “many religions can lead to eternal life” and 68% that there “is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.” Most amazing, 57% of evangelicals say many religions can lead to eternal life. Given that one of the most important teachings of evangelical Christianity is that salvation comes ONLY through Christ, this finding ought to rattle Christian leaders.