A new survey conducted by Ipsos research company finds that one in seven, or 14 percent, of global citizens believe they will see the world come to an end in their lifetime, while one in 10 believe the Mayan calendar marks the world's end this year. According to researchers, those 35 and younger and those with lower incomes were more likely to expect the world to end.
According to Keren Gottfried, research manager of the Ipsos study, one's religious affiliation did not play a role in the study.
"We didn't ask people why they think the world is going to come to an end, so it could be a combination of what is going on in people's heads," Gottfried told The Christian Post.
The research manager said there were two statistically relevant variables in the study: age and income.
Gottfried revealed that those under 35 years of age who participated in the study were more likely to believe the world was going to end than their older counterparts.
Similarly, people with lower incomes worldwide were more likely to believe the world is going to end in their lifetime.
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Another one in 10 participants admitted they have experienced fear or anxiety that the world will end in 2012.
"These beliefs appear to translate into worry, as a similar proportion (8%) of global citizens agrees – 2% strongly, 6% somewhat – that they 'have been experiencing anxiety or fear because the world is going to end in 2012,'" according to an Ipsos press release.
Russia has the highest level of anxiety regarding the end of the world in 2012, with fourteen percent of those questioned admitting to feeling anxious or afraid.
Dr. Jim Dixon, senior pastor of the 10,000-member Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colo., wrote the book Last Things Revealed regarding the end times. The book, published in Jan. 2011, attempts to help Christians better understand what the Bible says about the end times, as well as overcome their fears about the end of the world.
"I am not saying that we are the last generation. [But] I think that I would be surprised if Christ doesn't come back soon. By that I mean perhaps in my lifetime, perhaps in my children's lifetime, or certainly in my grandchildren's lifetime," Dixon told The Christian Post in April 2011.
"I am not trying to set the day or the hour. I'm just saying I think there are many signs that we are in the season of his return," he added.
Dixon contends that although many may have a fear of the end times, they must look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
"Christ is our savior, he is our Lord, and we overcome fear by finding the peace that he alone can bring and it is the peace of salvation," Dixon said.
The Ipsos survey, conducted for the Reuters new agency, questioned 16,262 adults in 21 countries. It found that of those questioned, 14 percent of people believe "the world will come to an end during my lifetime," while 86 percent disagreed.
Two in 10 people in Turkey, the United States, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico and Indonesia agree with this statement, while only six percent in France, followed by Belgium (seven percent), Great Britain (eight percent) and Sweden (11 percent) agree.
Of the countries questioned, one in 10 people agree with the statement "the Mayan calendar, which some say 'ends' in 2012, marks the end of the world." Of the 10 percent, two percent strongly agreed and eight percent somewhat agreed.
Out of the countries questioned, China had the highest percentage of people agreeing with this statement at 20 percent. However, the majority of the world's citizens are strongly opposed to this statement. Out of the 90 percent who disagree with the statement, 73 percent strongly disagree.
The independent research company Ipsos conducted the survey for Reuters via an online panel system from March 6-20, 2012, with 1,000 or more people participating in the majority of the 21 countries.