Ask this question in quickly dying Europe and you’ll get a very different answer.

PRINCETON, NJ — More than 9 in 10 Americans still say “yes” when asked the basic question “Do you believe in God?”; this is down only slightly from the 1940s, when Gallup first asked this question.

Despite the many changes that have rippled through American society over the last 6 ½ decades, belief in God as measured in this direct way has remained high and relatively stable. Gallup initially used this question wording in November 1944, when 96% said “yes.” That percentage dropped to 94% in 1947, but increased to 98% in several Gallup surveys conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. Gallup stopped using this question format in the 1960s, before including it again in Gallup’s May 5-8 survey this year.