British Columbians Outline Varied Belief Landscape

Most people think the crucifixion was an actual event, but remain skeptical on creationism and resurrection of Jesus.

Vancouver, BC – Regardless of their religious affiliation or spirituality level, British Columbians find common ground on concepts such as karma, miracles and an afterlife, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians tested 18 different concepts, asking residents how much they personally believed in each one of them. More than three-in-five British Columbians (61%) say they personally believe in karma, miracles, all humans having a spirit that lives on after the body dies and Jesus having walked the earth.

“Two concepts were at opposite ends of the scale when all responses were tallied,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “Three-in-five British Columbians believe in karma, along with a large majority of Christians, but the numbers for reincarnation were decidedly lower.”

In addition, 58% of BC residents believe in God and some form of life after death. More than half also believe in some form of a supernatural being or creator of the universe (55%), angels (53%) and heaven (52%).

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Nine other concepts were not endorsed by a majority of residents. However, British Columbians who identify themselves as Christian are more likely to believe in Jesus being the actual Son of God (74%, compared to 45% for all of BC), saints (63%, compared to 43% for BC) and creationism (50%, compared to 34% for BC).

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“British Columbians, and Christians, tend to have more faith on some of the positive traits of a purported afterlife, such as angels and heaven,” continues Canseco. “But when it comes to the negative aspects, such as the existence of Satan, hell and demons, the proportion of believers plummets.”

British Columbians who define themselves as atheist, agnostic or having no religion are particularly skeptical on some of these questions, with 65% of them saying they do not believe in God. However, 38% of respondents in this group believe all humans have a spirit that lives on after the body dies, and 36% believe in some form of life after death.

Bible Stories

The survey also asked about five stories that are included in The Bible, and asked British Columbians about their point of view. The crucifixion of Jesus was regarded as a factual event by 59% of British Columbians and 80% of Christians. But while 58% of Christians believe the resurrection of Jesus was a factual event, only 34% of all British Columbians concur.

The story of a man named Noah building an ark and saving animals and humans from a flood is regarded as a factual event by 32% in BC and 49% of Christians. Fewer respondents think a man named Moses parted the Red Sea (27% in BC, 45% among Christians) and that Adam and Eve were the first humans on Earth (25% in BC, 41% among Christians).

 

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has ten full-time and five part-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from April 11 to April 14, 2014, among 815 British Columbians who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and religious affiliation. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: Phil Whitehouse