Americans are split on how to achieve eternal life, with just as many saying a person’s beliefs determine access to everlasting bliss (30%) as say a person’s actions are most important (29%). One-in-ten believe a combination of the two is necessary, while 14% are not sure what matters most. Just 7% of Americans volunteered they do not believe in eternal life. White evangelical Protestants are the most likely to cite beliefs as the key to eternal life (64% say beliefs), while fully six-in-ten Catholics (61%) explicitly cite actions or works as integral to attaining eternal life. The vast majority of Christians who cite actions as essential also name at least one non-Christian faith that can lead to eternal life. Most of those citing beliefs as crucial say theirs is the one true faith leading to eternal life. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.