Thursday, March 24, 2011

Most Americans Don't Blame God for Disasters; Most Evangelicals Believe They're God's Penalty

The Religion News website reports that most Americans -- except evangelicals -- reject the idea that natural disasters are divine punishment, a test of faith, or some other sign from God, according to a new poll.

The poll -- released today (March 24, 2011) -- by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service, was conducted a week after a March 11 earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan.

Sixty percent of evangelicals believe God can use natural disasters to send messages -- almost twice the number of Catholics (31 percent) or mainline Protestants (34 percent).

Evangelicals (53 percent) are also more than twice as likely as the 20 percent of Catholics or mainline Protestants to believe God punishes nations for the sins of some citizens.

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