Today is Halloween—a time when the veil between this world and the next fades and spirit traffic between the two is possible. Do you believe in spirits? How about demons? Or Satan?
This week, we’ve discussed a range of facts about Hell: a large majority of Americans believe in Hell, belief in Hell is good for business, how American beliefs about Hell compare worldwide, and the deterrent effect belief in Hell has on crime around the world. Today, we consider the triumvirate of what sociologist Joseph Baker calls “religious evil” in his article in the Review of Religious Research.
Baker uses “religious evil” to refer collectively to Hell, demons, and Satan. Many Americans believe in Hell; as we discussed earlier this week, 73% of Americans believe in its existence. But even more believe in Satan: 75%. Beliefs in demons are almost as high, with 70% of Americans saying they believe in them.
African Americans have stronger beliefs in the Hell, demons, and Satan than do white Americans, he reports.
Beliefs in Hell, demons, and Satan tend to decline as income increases and education increases.
Age also makes a difference. Younger Americans are more likely older Americans to believe in the triumvirate of Hell, demons, and Satan.
On this All Hallows’ Eve, what do you believe?
Do you believe in demons?
Do you believe in Satan?