A startling proportion of Americans believe that we’re currently living in the End Times, according to a stunning new poll that was conducted by the Barna Group, a research firm that focuses on faith. In fact, more than four in 10 individuals (41 percent) over the age of 18 believe that “the world is currently living in the ‘end times’ as described by prophecies in the Bible.”
While this number is certainly noteworthy, among various cohorts, the results were even more stunning. While 54 percent of Protestants agreed that we are currently living in these times, the vast majority of evangelicals — 77 percent, to be exact — embrace this same sentiment.
Meanwhile, more generally, Catholics took on very different views on the matter. Seventy-three percent felt that the End Times are not upon us; 45 percent of practicing Catholics (a more narrow group) answering affirmatively, though, potentially showing a closer tie between the literal practice of faith and the belief in End Times theology.
On the racial front, there were also some intriguing disparities. While 39 percent of white Americans said that we’re living in the End Times, 48 percent of Hispanics and 54 percent of African Americans said the same. Those who are married (46 percent) and families with kids at home (47 percent) reported the same. Both of these latter statistics are larger than the national average (41 percent).
The thought-provoking question was commissioned by WatchWORD Bible New Testament producer Jim Fitzgerald, whose Bible digitization project was featured by TheBlaze back in May 2012. The results of the intriguing curiosity shocked him, as the numbers ended up much higher than he had anticipated.
“Even I was surprised by the findings. I thought the numbers could possibly be as low as 10% for the overall population and maybe 30% for Christians in general, or less,” he said. “I had no way to know before the survey. But the response of the overall population was higher than what I expected from Christians, and the Evangelical’s response was nearly twice what I thought.”
The original question, “Do you, personally, believe that the world is currently living in the ‘end times’ as described by prophecies in the Bible, or not?,” was asked of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older in a Barna Group survey that was conducted online from July 29 through Aug. 1, 2013. The sample was representative of all U.S. adults, with a margin or error of +/- 3.2 percentage points.
The study comes on the cusp of a plethora of interest in the Bible’s End Times theology. While some might argue that 1,000 is a small sample size, it is considered scientifically sound. Past studies have also found that nearly four in 10 Americans see some of the signs and events of late to be evidence of the End Times as well, corroborating some of the elements in this most recent inquiry.
Regardless of where you stand, interest in the subject is nowhere near subsiding.