WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A new study finds that a majority of Americans believe in both heaven and hell.

According to Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study, 72 percent of Americans believe in heaven, defined as “where people have led good lives are eternally rewarded.” That’s compared to 58 percent who believe in hell, defined as a place “where people who have led bad lives and die without being sorry are eternally punished.”

Among Christian faiths, 85 percent believe in heaven while 70 percent believe in hell. Within Christianity, Mormons have the highest percentage who believe in heaven at 95 percent. Historically black Protestants are next at 93 percent. Eighty-eight percent of Evangelicals believe heaven exists, while 85 percent of Catholics and 81 percent of Orthodox Christians believe the same.

Amont non-Christian faiths, Muslims had the highest percentage of the belief in heaven at 89 percent. Seventy-six percent of Muslims also believe in hell.

Forty percent of Jews believe there is a heaven, while only 22 percent think there is a hell.

Surprisingly, some atheists actually do believe in an afterlife. Five percent told Pew they believe in heaven, as 3 percent think hell exists. Among agnostics, those numbers are 14 and 9 percent, respectively.

The study was conducted from June 4 to Sept. 30, 2014.


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