- Religion and Philosophy
Hell: The Population of Hell
How many people are going to hell? Specifically, the Christian Hell. Christianity is the most important religion, and the only one, other than Islam, that claims non-adherents will go to Hell. So let's take a look, because it's going to be crowded down there.
- Muslims: 1.4 billion
- Non-religious and atheists: 960 million to 1 billion
- Hindus: 900 million
- Buddhists: 400 million to 600 million
- Other religions (Chinese traditional, animism, deism, Shinto, etc): 800 million
- Sikhs, Jews, Baha'is: 48 million
So that's a total of about 4.5 billion to 4.7 billion people. But wait, there's more. Because the total "Christian" population of 2.1 billion includes many millions of people who do not actually live a Christian life (and are therefore going to Hell). The population of Hell should rise. Consider the following:
- Only roughly 30% of Christians globally attend church regularly. In Brazil, for example, 80% of the population is "Catholic" but only 36% attend church regularly! Similarly, in the US, 78% call themselves Christian, but only around 40% attend church regularly--at best (Religious Tolerance, Nation Master).
- In many supposedly "Christian" countries, female use of contraceptives exceeds 60, 70 or 80%. This includes many countries in Latin America. In the US, studies have indicated that almost all Americans have had sex outside of marriage.
- Most Christian sects think they are the "true" religion and other denominations are heresy. They can't all be right, which means that somebody is going to hell!
- In many countries, petty theft, tax evasion and money laundering are a way of life--in direct violation of the 8th and 9th Commandments. To say nothing of the countless millions who work on the weekend, violating the 4th Commandment (to keep the "Sabbath").
These offenses are not necessarily punishable by eternal damnation (that depends on particular beliefs). But they speak to an overall lack of adherence to Christian doctrine. There are millions of people who call themselves Christian, but who nonetheless do very un-Christian things, including borrowing spiritual guidance from Buddhism, new age religions, Taoism or other non-Christian sources. It seems reasonable to add another billion or so to the damned total.
So out of 6.8 billion human beings, a staggering 5.6 billion are going to Hell. That is 82% of all humanity! If we factor in the many hundreds of millions of people who have lived before our time, we can easily get up to 90 or 95% of the entire human species that has ever lived.
Christianity would seem to be an extraordinarily dark belief system, to claim that almost all of our fellow humans who have ever lived are destined for an eternity of suffering because they don't happen to agree with their "Lord." Is that the work of a just and loving "God"?
Personally, I don't know whether there is or is not a god of any kind. But I do know one thing: if there is a God, it sure as hell isn't the Christian God. That guy's a psycho.
Sources on religious populations: