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Heaven and hell not believed by as many as Brits think

by Cara Bentley

The poll revealed that 45 per cent believe in heaven and 38 per cent believe in hell.

However, in representative surveys of approximately 1000 people, only 32 per cent say they believe in heaven and only 21 per cent say they believe in hell.

Those asked were more accurate in their guesses at belief in God. The average guess was that 43 per cent of people in Britain believe in God, when 39 per cent say they actually do.

Graham Nichols, the director of Affinity, a network of Christian organisations, told Premier the results on belief in heaven and hell were interesting: "It's difficult to reconcile some of them. Quite a large proportion identify as Christians and yet quite a small proportion believe in heaven and hell so you wonder what those who identify as Christian actually believe."

He explained why he thought this was odd: "In terms of the Christian message, it's important that people believe in both. They're both things that Jesus talked about a lot.

"Part of what he spoke about was both heaven and hell - hell to be avoided and heaven to be entered into."

Regarding what the results tell us as Christians he replied: "I think it's part of a general trend in a number of surveys about ignorance of the Christian faith and perhaps ignorance about the implications of, if you believe in the Christian God, what that means."

When asked how Christians should respond to the poll, Graham Nicholls said: "We have that ongoing job to explain the truth."

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