Are We Living in the ‘End Times’? Here’s How Many Americans Think So
As we head into 2023, a new study has revealed that an increasing number of Americans believe we are living in the "end times."
Thirty-nine percent of U.S. citizens believe the world will end soon, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
With regard to race, of those who believe humanity is living in the end times, 68 percent of Black Americans believe the apocalypse is nigh. Forty-one percent of Hispanic people believe the end times are upon us, compared to 34 percent of white people and 33 percent of Asian people in the U.S.
The belief spans across many religions, too, with 47 percent of Christians believing the "end times" are near.
A small group of Christians with "pre-millennialist" points of view believe the world will continue to deteriorate until Jesus Christ makes returns to Earth. Only 40 percent of premillennialist Christians believe climate change poses a serious threat to humanity.
"Americans' attitudes about climate change are sometimes said to be linked to beliefs about the apocalypse or 'end times.' As the theory goes, people who believe humanity is living in its last days may be less concerned about the dangers of climate change than those who do not think the world is soon coming to an end," Becka Alper, a senior researcher at Pew Research Center, told Newsweek.
"Some scholars have theorized that public attitudes toward the environment may be tied, at least in part, to beliefs about the 'end times' — such as the belief that the end of the world and the arrival of a messiah (or the 'second coming' of Jesus) is imminent. For example, if one believes that the world is about to end, protecting the environment for the long term may not seem as important," Alper continued.
Despite many believing the "end times" are near, 80 percent of religious Americans believe "God gave humans a duty to protect and care for the Earth, including the plants and animals."
According to Alper, people who took part in the survey "could have been thinking about a range of things" they might associate with the "end times," such as extreme weather events and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the survey, only a small number of atheists believe the end is near.
"However they understood the question, the overwhelming majority of atheists do not believe we are living in the end times, while 9 percent say they believe we are," Alper shared.