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21 per cent of US Atheists believe in God

US atheists

Increases in atheism may be less threatening to religious belief than previously assumed. One of the more arresting findings of a major new survey is that 21 per cent of US atheists believe in God, with eight per cent saying they are 'absolutely certain'.

Out of those atheist believers, 57 per cent see God as an impersonal force, and 29 per cent believe in a personal God - leaving 4 per cent who, understandably, aren't sure.

Are we seeing the rise of the nominal atheist?

The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey interviewed 35,000 people. It was published by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life on 23 June.

It also found, conversely, that 3 per cent of Catholics, 2 per cent of Protestants, and 8 per cent of Muslims do not believe in God. As a whole, the survey suggests that 92 per cent of the US population believe in God.

Another finding was that 70 per cent of all religious believers (not counting the athiests) agreed that 'many religions can lead to eternal life' These include 57 per cent of evangelicals, 56 per cent of Muslims, 79% of Catholics - and 16% of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Read the report at the Pew Forum site.

P.S. Confused atheism is not just a US phenomenon, it seems. The Theos thinktank have pointed us to a survey they ran in March, according to which 12 per cent of British atheists believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and 7 per cent say he was the Son of God.

Oh those crazy rationalists.