Tuesday, October 02, 2007

How many Christians believe in demons?

A reader of this blog wrote and asked if I knew of any data regarding belief rates among Christians in demons. I asked survey-guru David Weakliem, and he pointed me to the 2006 survey "Spirit and Power" by the Pew Foundation.

A survey of Christians in 10 countries, one of its questions asked was if respondents thought that angels and demons were active. The responses varied somewhat by nation and denomination as follows:

Question: Do you *completely* agree that demons and angels are active in the world. (Note: this leaves out respondents who mostly agree.)

United States:
- 72% Pentecostals
- 58% Charismatics
- 41% Other Christians

Brazil:
- 81% Pentecostals
- 57% Charismatics
- 53% Other Christians

Kenya:
- 75% Pentecostals
- 70% Charismatics
- 43% Other Christians

India:
- 66% Pentecostals
- 56% Charismatics
- 48% Other Christians

4 comments:

tina said...

Who the heck are the 28% of Pentecostals and 42% of Charismatics that don't believe in demons, and what do they think is wrong with their fellow church attendees?

Ben said...

My Kenyan classmate Nelson couldn't fathom anything short 100% of Pentecostals in Kenya believing that demons are active. So we took a closer look at the survey results. Actually, 92% believe demons and angels are active if you combine the 75% that completely agree with the 17% that mostly agree. Only 7% disagreed. And only 1% could muster a "strongly disagree." That sounds a little more like it.

S.S.Stone said...

does the survey break down the % of Catholics in the "other Christian" group? I find this very interesting.

Brad Wright said...

Yikes, I missed that Ben. Thanks for catching it.

Even then it's a surprise that they don't all completely agree, but it does tell a very different story.

I agree Tina, not believing in demons and angels would make for an odd experience in those churches.

I didn't see any Catholic data in the study, Sarah.