Are Severe Natural Disasters Evidence of the ‘Biblical End Times’? Researcher Reveals Americans’ Fascinating Stance

As the third and final season of HBO’s “The Leftovers” airs — and as the U.S. faces intense challenges involving Russia, Iran, North Korea and other contentious nations — the topic of the end times has reemerged in pop culture and theological circles alike.

This week, PRRI, a well-known public polling firm, distributed a press release highlighting some of the organization’s past findings on Americans’ end times views. To briefly recap: 49 percent of Americans believe that severe natural disasters are evidence of the biblical end times (52 percent of Republicans versus 48 percent of Democrats believe this is the case).

The polling firm also noted a stark difference between evangelicals and mainline Protestants, with 77 percent of white evangelicals and 74 percent of black Protestants attributing “the severity of natural disasters to biblical end times,” compared to just 35 percent of mainline Protestants and 29 percent of Americans who are unaffiliated with a faith (mainline Protestants are overwhelmingly white, hence the lack of a racial breakdown on this indicator).

With these findings in mind, Faithwire caught up with PRRI’s research director Dan Cox this week to discuss some of these fascinating end-times results, specifically the massive eschatological disparity between evangelicals and mainline Protestants.

“These groups have significantly different religious beliefs,” Cox said. “For instance, 63 percent of white evangelical Protestants have a literal interpretation of the Bible compared to only 25 percent of white mainline Protestants.”

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