Among all of humankind who follow a religion whose literature includes some kind of Devil character, how many of them currently alive today actually believe that this creature is a real entity, with actual motivations, who is separate from God, and has the power to influence humans?
I know it’s impossible to know an exact number, but has anyone compiled a rough estimate?
I was out Trick or Treating once with my daughter and one of her friends, and a person dressed as a devil walked by. The friend seemed scared, so I told her the devil wasn’t real. She was shocked. She and her mother were pretty religious - more or less mainstream.
I doubt many believe the devil is like the one in Faust or the soul buying stories, but down in hell? I think lots do. And why not? The preachers rant on about it.
2 billion Christians in the world, maybe half believe in the Devil, so 1 billion. Maybe more since Christianity is largely centered in the global South and Africans tend to be more spiritualist than Europeans.
But since it’s perfectly possible to believe in the existence of a god without believing in the existence of a devil, convincing people that the Devil doesn’t exist would be a far more inefficient strategy for promoting apostasy than simply convincing people that God doesn’t exist.
If there actually were any kind of supernatural Devil, and he actually thought that his “greatest lie” is persuading people of his own nonexistence, he would have to be pretty stupid.
But given that this is all a speculative hypothetical anyway, its illogicality doesn’t matter all that much.
According to this Pew study, somewhere from half to three-quarters of Muslims worldwide believe in supernatural beings called “jinn”, which includes the scriptural “Shaytan/Iblis” or the Devil. (Although the survey doesn’t appear to include Muslims in India, which is flipping ridiculous because India has literally the second-largest Muslim population in the entire world, after Indonesia.)
That’s not a version I’ve ever heard. The versions I know are the Judaic one where he is not an enemy of God but of us and his job is to challenge us, and the Christian* one where both angels and humans have free will and Satan made a choice to put himself against God and tries to drive humans to make the same choice.
If you’re thinking of Jesus’ vision on the roof of the Temple etc, he was being challenged as a human, not as God.
some Christian denominations don’t believe in free will. Some people believe that humans have it but angels don’t, although I think these may be more from the crystal pyramids trenches than the pews of churches.
Christianity is not the foundation of Islam, but both religions rest on older common foundations of monotheism. Islam acknowledges the existence of Jesus and considers him to be a prophet of God but does not subscribe to his divine origin, which is the most important tenet of Christianity (IMHO). Islam does recognize a devil figure, as does much of Christianity but this particular idea can be also seen in the Hebrew bible, and the idea of a supernatural bad guy can even be seen in the ancient-Egyptian god Seth.
As for the Devil, I’m not sure why someone would write off the devil as simply a personification of evil if they are not at the same time writing off God as a personification of good. Nor do I know how you would reconcile the omnipotence of God with the existence of a Devil, must less the existence of evil.
(The OP seems to be asking a factual question yet posted in GD so not sure what discussion is desired here.)