Survey results: Do you believe the story of Christmas?

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A December survey of Americans by the Public Religion Research Institute asked the following, similar to a 2004 survey question asked by Newsweek

“Do you believe the story of Christmas — that is, the Virgin birth, the angelic proclamation to the Shepherds, the Star of Bethlehem, and the Wise Men from the East — is historically accurate, or is it a theological story to affirm faith in Jesus Christ?”

2004, general public:

Historical: 67 percent

Theological: 24 percent

2013, general public:

Historical: 49 percent

Theological: 40 percent

Don’t know

Refused: 11 percent

2013, subgroups who say accounts are historical:

White evangelical Protestants: 80 percent

Minority Protestants: 62 percent

White mainline Protestants: 56 percent

Catholics, 51 percent

Unaffiliated, 19 percent

Seniors: 50 percent

Adults 50-64: 56 percent

Adults under 30: 42 percent


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