More than 18,000 people in 23 countries participated in the survey conducted by the Global Research Society and the Institute for Social Research (Ipsos). The survey also found that 7% of the people believe in reincarnation, while 23 percent believe that we only will “cease to exist”. About a quarter (26 percent) said they do not know what will happen after death.
Bobby Duffy, managing director of Ipsos, told Reuters that “it may seem to many that we live in a secular world, but this study shows that spiritual life is important to the citizens of the world since half of them said they believed in a supreme being”.
“Also a large proportion of the remaining population is sure that there is a spiritual explanation to either how we got here or what happens after death.” According to the survey, “definitive belief in a God or a Supreme Being” is highest in Indonesia (93 percent) and Turkey (91 percent), followed by Brazil (84 percent), South Africa (83 percent) and Mexico (78 percent).
Those most likely to believe in “many Gods or Supreme Beings” are in India (24 percent), China (14 percent) and Russia (10 percent). People who do not believe in God or a Supreme Being are most likely to live in France (39 percent), Sweden (37 percent), Belgium (36 percent), Britain (34 percent), Japan (33 percent) and Germany (31 percent).
Read also: Reincarnation in India: The Home Of Karma
How Many People Believe In Reincarnation?
So, according to this worldwide survey, how many people believe in reincarnation? The study found that half of the world’s population believes there is a form of afterlife. More than half of the people in Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey believe in heaven or hell, while in the United States and Brazil less than 40 percent have the same beliefs.
Forty percent of respondents in Mexico, believe in heaven, but not in the afterlife or hell. Overall, nearly a quarter do not believe in heaven or hell.
The belief in reincarnation is highest in Hungary, where 13 percent say “we are ultimately reincarnated”. The belief is also popular in Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Argentina and Australia.
People who claim to “not know what happens” after death are mostly located in Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, the countries where people are more likely to believe that they will cease to exist after death are South Korea with 40 percent, Spain with 40 percent, France with 39 percent, Japan with 37 percent and Belgium with 35 percent.
In other findings, the survey revealed that 41 percent of the world’s population believe in human evolution, 28 percent believe in creationism and 31 percent are not sure what to believe. Creationism, or the belief that human beings are created by a spiritual force like God, is the strongest in Saudi Arabia (75 percent), Turkey (60 percent), Indonesia (57 percent) and South Africa (56 percent).
The belief in evolution, or that the origin of man came from the evolution of other species such as primates, is very popular in Sweden, Germany, China, Belgium and Japan, with more than 60 percent.
The countries participating in the online survey were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America.
Among the youth, a study held in Spain showed that 27.1% of young people believe in reincarnation, but that percentage soars to 40% among practicing Catholics; to 33.8% among not so practicing Catholics and to 28.2% in non-practicing Catholics. On the other side of the scale, only a 11.5% of young atheists and 18% of young agnostics believe in reincarnation.
Read also: Do Christians Believe In Reincarnation?
According to data released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2009 survey), not only do a quarter of Americans believe in reincarnation, but 24 percent of American Christians expressed a belief in reincarnation. This represents a significant deviation from the traditional Judaeo-Christian narrative with which most Americans in the baby-boomer generation grew up. “You were born. You lived. You died. And after a judgment you went to heaven or hell forever”. From: Christians and reincarnation
From a different perspective, we could answer the question “how many people believe in reincarnation?” by looking at specific religions which include the concept of reincarnation as a fundamental belief. Among these, we would find followers of hinduism (950 million), buddhism (500 million), sikhism (23.8 million), jainism (4.2 million), shinto (4 million), and taoism (2.7 million). Which means a total number of 1.4 billion people, or an approximate 19% of the world’s population believe in reincarnation.
Keep reading: What Religions Believe In Reincarnation?
This concludes our article trying to answer the common question: how many people believe in reincarnation in the world? Share with your contacts if you found it useful, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and keep reading this blog to learn more about reincarnation.