Poll: More Americans Believe in God, Heaven than Devil, Hell

Americans are more likely to believe in God and Heaven than in the Devil and Hell, a new Gallup poll found.

The latest study found that 86 percent of American adults believe in God which is a drop from 90 percent in 2004 and in 2001. Seventy percent expressed belief in the Devil.

Also, 81 percent said they believe in Heaven; 75 percent in Angels; and 69 percent in Hell.

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When the Gallup Organization posed different alternatives to belief in God, less people reported they believe in God. The study found that 78 percent of Americans said they believe in God and 14 percent said they believe in a universal spirit or higher power. When the "higher power" alternative was removed and replaced with "something you're not sure about," nearly nine in 10 Americans reported believing in God.

An earlier Barna Group study revealed that 9 percent of the American adult population identify themselves as an atheist, an agnostic or having "no faith." The statistic equates to roughly 20 million people in the nation. And about 5 million adults expressed that they staunchly reject the existence of God.

When measuring Americans' belief in the Devil, Gallup poll results showed that more Americans believe in the Devil this year compared to 1990 when only 55 percent agreed. However, Gallup researchers noted that there have been changes in the context in which the belief in the Devil question has been asked. Older Gallup surveys included the Devil in a list of things such as witches, reincarnation, and ghosts. Surveys conducted since 2001 included the Devil in a list of more directly religious entities.

The percentage of people who believe in Hell peaked in 2001 at 71 percent and has slightly declined since to 69 percent this year.

Gallup poll results are based on telephone interviews with 1,003 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted May 10-13, 2007.

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