Newsweek/Beliefnet Poll Results

A new poll points to growing importance of 'spirituality'; most believe people of other faiths can go to heaven.

Continued from page 1


In early August, 2005, Newsweek and Beliefnet asked 1,004 Americans what they believe and how they practice their faith. Read the complete results or choose a question from the index below:

  • WHO GOES TO HEAVEN/ATTAINS SALVATION?
  • ARE YOU SPIRITUAL OR RELIGIOUS?
  • HOW IMPORTANT IS SPIRITUALITY?
  • WHAT'S YOUR FAITH?
  • WHAT RELIGION WERE YOU RAISED IN?
  • HAS YOUR SIBLINGS' FAITH CHANGED?
  • IS YOUR SPOUSE'S FAITH THE SAME?
  • IS YOUR PRACTICE TRADITIONAL?
  • WHY DO YOU PRACTICE?

  • WHAT'S THE MAIN REASON YOU PRACTICE?
  • HOW OFTEN DO YOU PRACTICE?
  • WHEN DO YOU FEEL MOST CONNECTED TO GOD?
  • WAS THE UNIVERSE CREATED BY GOD?
  • WHAT'S THE PURPOSE OF PRAYER?
  • WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE DIES
  • DO YOU EXPLORE OTHER FAITHS?

    Can a good person who isn't of your religious faith go to heaven or attain salvation, or not?
      Yes No Don't know
    Evangelical Protestants 68% 22% 10%
    Non-Evangelical Protestants 83% 10% 7%
    Catholics 91% 3% 6%
    Non-Christians 73% 3% 24%
    Total 79% 12% 9%


    Which best describes you?
      Age  
      18-39 40-59 60+ Total
    Spiritual but not religious 27% 28% 15% 24%
    Religious but not spiritual 10% 8% 8% 9%
    Religious &
    spiritual
    48% 56% 66% 55%
    Not spiritual/
    not religious
    11% 5% 6% 8%
    Don't know 4% 3% 5% 4%


    How important is spirituality in your daily life?
      Age  
      18-39 40-59 60+ Total
    Very important 44% 63% 66% 57%
    Somewhat important 32% 27% 20% 27%
    Not too important 11% 4% 5% 7%
    Not at all Important 11% 5% 5% 7%
    Don't know 2% 1% 4% 2%


    How would you categorize your faith?
      Age  
      18-39 40-59 60+ Total
    Total Christian 77% 90% 91% 85%
    Evangelical Protestant 28% 36% 36% 33%
    Non-Evangelical Protestant 23% 25% 28% 25%
    Roman Catholic 22% 22% 22% 22%
    Mormon 2% 1% 1% 1%
    Orthodox Church <1%> 1% <1%> <1%>
    Other Christian 2% 5% 4% 4%
    Total Non-Christian 7% 4% 4% 5%
    Jewish 1% 2% 2% 1%
    Muslim 2% 0% 0% 1%
    Hindu 1% <1%> 1% 1%
    Buddhist 1% 1% <1%> 1%
    Other religion 2% 1% 1% 1%
    Athiest/Agnostic/No Religion 9% 5% 3% 6%
    Religion Undesignated 7% 1% 2% 4%


    How would you compare your religion today to the religion in which you were raised?
      Age  
      18-39 40-59 60+ Total
    The same 37% 41% 35% 38%
    Mostly the same 28% 31% 33% 30%
    Mostly Different 9% 7% 13% 9%
    Completely different 10% 14% 11% 11%
    Not raised in any religion 5% 2% 1% 3%
    Became an atheist/agnostic 4% 4% 3% 4%
    Don't know 7% 1% 4% 5%


    If you have brothers or sisters, is their religion today the same as that with which they were raised?
    Religion is the same/mostly the same 62%
    Changed religion or stopped practicing religion 23%
    Don't have any (living) siblings 8%
    Not raised in any religion 1%
    Don't know 6%


    Is your spouse's/partner's religion the same as your religion?
    The same 70%
    Mostly the same 14%
    Mostly different 5%
    Completely different 10%
    Spouse/partner is atheist/agnostic/
    has no religion
    1%
    Don't know <1%>


    In terms of the way you practice your religion today, how do you think of yourself?
      Age  
      18-39 40-59 60+ Total
    Very traditional 22% 25% 34% 27%
    Somewhat traditional 40% 47% 43% 44%
    Not traditional 29% 18% 9% 19%
    On the cutting edge 6% 7% 6% 6%
    Don't Know 3% 3% 8% 4%
     
      Evang. Prot. Non-Evang. Prot. Cath. Other
    Very traditional 38% 19% 21% 14%
    Somewhat traditional 38% 48% 52% 36%
    Not traditional 12% 23% 20% 37%
    On the cutting edge 7% 5% 3% 12%
    Don't Know 5% 5% 4% 1%


    How important are the following reasons for practicing your religion today?

    1. To connect with something larger than yourself
    Very important 55%
    Somewhat important 24%
    Not too important 8%
    Not at all important 6%
    Don't know 7%
     
    2. To find happiness and peace of mind
    Very important 70%
    Somewhat important 21%
    Not too important 4%
    Not at all important 3%
    Don't know 2%
     
    3. To forge a personal relationship with God
    Very important 75%
    Somewhat important 16%
    Not too important 4%
    Not at all important 4%
    Don't know 1%
     
    4. To give your life meaning and structure
    Very important 63%
    Somewhat important 24%
    Not too important 6%
    Not at all important 4%
    Don't know 3%
     
    5. To be a part of a community
    Very important 39%
    Somewhat important 33%
    Not too important 13%
    Not at all important 13%
    Don't know 2%
     
    6. To help you be a better person and live a moral life
    Very important 75%
    Somewhat important 19%
    Not too important 2%
    Not at all important 2%
    Don't know 2%


    When do people feel most connected with God or the divine?
    Read more poll results >>



    Which of the following would you say is the main reason you practice your religion? (among traditional and non-traditional practitioners)
    Trad. Non-Trad. Total
    To forge a personal relationship with God 44% 28% 39%
    To help you be a better person and live a moral life 31% 27% 30%
    To find happiness and peace of mind 17% 17% 17%
    To connect with something larger than yourself 10% 9% 10%
    To give your life meaning and structure 8% 11% 8%
    To be part of a community 3% 3% 3%
    Other reason 1% 0% 1%
    No main reason 5% 19% 10%
    Don't know 2% 1% 2%


    How often do you do each of the following religious and spiritual activities?

    1. Attend church or worship services
    Every day 2%
    Several times a week 13%
    Once a week 30%
    Once or twice a month 15%
    A few times a year 13%
    Seldom 14%
    Never 12%
    Don't know 1%
    2. Participate in a spiritual activity not connected with a traditional church or house of worship
    Every day 21%
    Several times a week 11%
    Once a week 11%
    Once or twice a month 14%
    A few times a year 9%
    Seldom 12%
    Never 19%
    Don't know 3%
    3. Read the Bible, Koran, or other sacred text
    Every day 20%
    Several times a week 13%
    Once a week 12%
    Once or twice a month 11%
    A few times a year 9%
    Seldom 16%
    Never 17%
    Don't know 2%
    4. Pray
    Every day 64%
    Several times a week 10%
    Once a week 5%
    Once or twice a month 4%
    A few times a year 2%
    Seldom 6%
    Never 8%
    Don't know 1%
    5. Meditate
    Every day 29%
    Several times a week 10%
    Once a week 6%
    Once or twice a month 4%
    A few times a year 2%
    Seldom 10%
    Never 36%
    Don't know 3%


    In which instance do you feel most connected with God or the divine?
    When praying or meditating 40%
    When in nature 21%
    When in a house of worship 21%
    When praying with others 6%
    When reading a sacred text 2%
    None of these 6%
    Don't know 4%


    Do you believe the universe was created by God, or not created by God?
    Created by God 80%
    Not created by God 10%
    Don't believe in God 1%
    Don't know 9%


    What do you think is the most important purpose of prayer?
    To seek God's guidance 27%
    To thank God 23%
    To be close to God or the divine 19%
    To help others 13%
    To improve a person's life 9%
    Other 4%
    Don't know 5%


    Which best describes your views about what happens when someone dies? (among traditional and non-traditional practitioners)
    Trad. Non-Trad. Total
    It'a all over, there is no soul 3% 6% 6%
    The soul goes to heaven or hell 79% 59% 67%
    There is no heaven or hell, but the soul lives on in a spiritual realm 9% 17% 13%
    The soul is reincarnated into another being 2% 8% 5%
    Don't know 7% 10% 9%


    How often do you explore spiritual ideas or practices of other religious faiths in addition to your own?
    Evang. Prot. Non-Evang. Prot. Cath. Other All
    Often 7% 6% 8% 17% 8%
    Some-
    times
    23% 25% 27% 31% 24%
    Hardly ever 33% 31% 28% 32% 31%
    Never 35% 37% 36% 12% 35%
    Don't know 2% 1% 1% 8% 2%

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