The majority of U.S. Christians say they believe in God but not in the devil or the Holy Spirit, a recent study found.
The latest Barna Group survey revealed that about 60 percent of believers either strongly agree or somewhat agree that Satan isn't "a living being" but rather "a symbol of evil." About 58 percent also said they strongly agree or somewhat agree that the Holy Spirit is "a symbol of God's power or presence" but not "a living entity."
"Most Americans, even those who say they are Christian, have doubts about the intrusion of the supernatural into the natural world," said George Barna, founder of The Barna Group. He's also written several books on America's faith.
"Hollywood has made evil accessible and tame, making Satan and demons less worrisome than the Bible suggests they really are," he added. "It's hard for achievement-driven, self-reliant, independent people to believe that their lives can be impacted by unseen forces."
Click here to read the results of the Barna Group survey.
In comparison, only 35 percent of those surveyed said they believe Satan is real and 34 percent said they believe the Holy Spirit is real.
Those remaining said they were not sure what to believe about the existence of the devil or the Holy Spirit.
Americans, however, still showed a belief in evil spirits or demons. About two out of every three Christians agreed that these spiritual forces exist.
The study also found that most Americans who don't completely believe in the Holy Spirit still feel the Bible is accurate in its teachings. According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit is God's power or presence, not just a symbol.
The Barna results were based on phone interviews of 1,871 adult Christians given at the beginning and end of 2008.
Source: The Barna Group