A new analysis of data by polling organisation YouGov has found people in Britain are more likely to believe in ghosts than in God – and Christians are more likely to believe in aliens than in the devil.
The report stresses that "Christian" in this context is "partly a cultural term" rather than indicating churchgoing habits, noting that a survey last year found only 55 per cent of people identifying as Christians believed in God.
However, its new analysis of nearly 12,000 people who affiliate with Christianity and a control set of 39,000 British people representative of the whole population shows only 41 per cent of 'Christians' say they believe in a Creator, while 18 per cent say they definitely do not.
More Christians believe in fate or destiny (46 per cent), which is not really a Christian tenet, than in heaven (44 per cent), which is. Only 36 per cent believe in an everlasting soul.
The analysis also notes a "a tendency to believe in the friendlier parts of faith than those which are difficult to contemplate".
Only 27 per cent of people who say they are Christian believe in hell and they are more likely to definitely believe in angels (35 per cent) than the devil (24 per cent).
The survey also finds that among British people as a whole, belief in ghosts and karma is more prevalent than belief in a Creator or heaven.