Openness: Poll Finds Americans' Ideas about Heaven Changing

September 20, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Winston-Salem Journal/Religion News Service

Heaven is no longer viewed as an exclusive place by many Americans, according to a new survey from Baylor University.

When researchers polled U.S. adults about who (and how many) will get into heaven, 54 percent of respondents said that at least half of average Americans will get in.

More than a fourth of those surveyed -- 29 percent -- said they had no opinion about the fate of the average American, a figure that mirrored those who thought "half or more" of nonreligious people would make it into heaven.

Rodney Stark, the co-director of Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion in Waco, Texas, said that the findings represent a marked difference from earlier studies.