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68% in U.S. Believe in Devil, Poll Finds

March 01, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Nearly seven in 10 Americans say they believe in the existence of the devil, with Republicans and conservative Christians being most likely to do so, according to a Gallup report.

The report, released this week but based on a poll taken in May 2001, showed that 68% of Americans believe in the devil, while 20% do not and 12% say they are unsure. By comparison, another recent Gallup poll showed 85% of Americans saying they believe in God.

Among conservative Christians, 83% said they believe in the existence of the devil while 70% of Catholics said they did.

Among Republicans, 79% said they believe in the devil, while 67% of Democrats and 59% of independents did. Conservative Christians have become a major constituency in the Republican party.

Regionally, belief in the devil was considerably more common in the South (79%) than in the East (56%). Residents of the West (69%) and Midwest (64%) fell in between.

Belief in the devil did not vary much by age. But only 55% of those with postgraduate degrees said they believe in the devil while 70% of those with only a high school diploma and 68% of those with only a bachelor's degree did so.

The telephone poll of 1,012 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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