Is there evidence of rebirth or reincarnation? What is the proof of past lives? How many people believe in either rebirth or reincarnation? What is the difference between rebirth and reincarnation?
These are the questions that drive the mission of the True Rebirth website, Youtube Channel and Podcasts:
“Explore the truth of reincarnation and past lives.”
2.11 Billion People Believe in Past Lives
About 2.11 billion people tend to believe in rebirth or reincarnation — the majority of world religions, except the two largest Christianity and Islam. [Data extrapolated below.]
While there is no scientific “research” focused on the notions of heaven or hell, there is a wide body of supporting data for the concept of some form of rebirth, continuity, or reincarnation.
Case Research: 76.7% of People Studied Have Verifiable Past Lives
In the first breakthrough study on Past Lives, famously conducted by Dr. Ian Stevenson, a former Professor of Psychiatry, “76.7% of written-record cases and 78.4% of cases without written records” were supported by research. These cases were mostly in India and Sri Lanka, where written records are available and belief in reincarnation is widespread. He went on to study over 3000 well-supported cases.
On one hand, science is all about keeping an open mind. On the other, if something isn’t proven empirically, despite anecdotal evidence, some scientists (or scientific minds) tend to discount it as “not true at this time.” Case study research is well-developed in the field of past lives research, with leaders such as Dr. Ian Stevenson, and Dr. Jim B. Tucker, M.D. Past lives and rebirth scenarios do not lend themselves to empirical laboratory testing, but there is an abundance of case history, much of it verified by documentary evidence such as post mortems.
Dr. Stevenson also published a study titled “Birthmarks and Birth Defects Corresponding to the Wounds of Deceased Persons.”
“About 35 per cent of children who claim to remember previous lives have birthmarks and/or birth defects that they (or adult informants) attribute to wounds on a person whose life the child remembers,” he wrote in the study. He correlated the interviews with postmortem medical documentation.
Religion and Rebirth — It’s not just an “Eastern belief”
There is a tendency for people who have a faith or spiritual belief to believe in rebirth or reincarnation if they are from the so-called “Western” traditions that are outside of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  This is quite noticeable in “cultural entertainments,” for example, when death is the theme. Eastern movies will casually script something like, “In a past life, you must have saved the country” or “meet her in the next life.” In Western movies, the talk would tend to be “heaven” and “hell oriented.
However, although only 22 percent of Christians believe in reincarnation or rebirth, the majority of the “so called” Eastern faiths tend to believe, including Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Shinto, Sikh, Daoist (Taoist). In addition, many mystical Christians, so-called folk religions, and pagans tend to believe in some form of either reincarnation or rebirth. What does this represent, as a percentage of the world population?
In 2021, the Worldometer, has the World Population Clock at 7.09 Billion people.
In 2020 studies, 85% of the world population identify with a religion. The remaining population, estimated at 1.2 billion in 2020, are either unaffiliated (they might be spiritual) or Agnostic or Atheistic.
6.715 Billion Identify with a Faith
Extrapolating, the 85% who have a faith system, this amounts to 6.715 billion. Of those, 2.38 billion are “Christian” or identify as Christian, 1.91 billion are Islamic faith, and 14.6 million are Jewish — about 4.3 billion. Of the Christians, according to a study, 22% believe in reincarnation; so, about 0.52 billion.
In other words:
- 3.78 billion people tend to believe in a permanent afterlife (with different degrees of faith)
- 2.11 billion people tend to believe in rebirth or reincarnation (with different degrees of faith)
- 1.2 billion people lean towards atheism or agnostic beliefs.
Faith versus Possibilities
One key difference seems to be faith versus possibilities. The doctrine of a permanent heaven or hell is a matter of pure faith, while Rebirth and Reincarnation is more one of anecdote and “possibilities” and — for some of us — hope and optimism. Either can be supported by study or science — albeit, not yet lab-tested.
True Rebirth’s mission is to focus on those possibilities. Join us on our mission:
True Rebirth: Explore the truth of reincarnation and past lives.
 Pew Forum research, 2009, 22% of Christians believe in Reincarnation.