February 17, 2009

Tickets to Paradise

30%

Three-in-ten Americans say belief is the key factor in achieving eternal life; about the same proportion view actions as the primary factor (29%).

Americans are split on how to achieve eternal life, with just as many saying a person’s beliefs determine access to everlasting bliss (30%) as say a person’s actions are most important (29%). One-in-ten believe a combination of the two is necessary, while 14% are not sure what matters most. Just 7% of Americans volunteered they do not believe in eternal life. White evangelical Protestants are the most likely to cite beliefs as the key to eternal life (64% say beliefs), while fully six-in-ten Catholics (61%) explicitly cite actions or works as integral to attaining eternal life. The vast majority of Christians who cite actions as essential also name at least one non-Christian faith that can lead to eternal life. Most of those citing beliefs as crucial say theirs is the one true faith leading to eternal life. Read More