Seven in 10 US adults believe in angels and a third in astrology, new poll shows

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Angels hold a prominent place in American belief, surpassing even concepts like hell, astrology, and spiritual energies associated with physical objects. According to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, about 70% of US adults say they believe in angels. Jack Grogger, a chaplain for the Los Angeles Angels, believes that people are searching for something greater than themselves, something beyond their comprehension, and angels provide a sense of comfort in that search. Angels are familiar to people, appearing in popular culture and religious texts. Compared to worshipping Jesus, angels are seen as safer to worship.

The belief in angels in America is on par with belief in heaven and the power of prayer, but belief in God or a higher power surpasses them all. Fewer US adults believe in the devil or Satan, astrology, reincarnation, or the idea that physical things have spiritual energies. This widespread acceptance of angels is not surprising to Susan Garrett, an angel expert and New Testament professor. She believes that angels are used to understand how God interacts with the world and other complex concepts that are difficult to articulate.

The belief in angels extends to those with religious affiliations as well as the religiously unaffiliated. Among those who believe in angels, 94% are evangelical Protestants, 81% are mainline Protestants, and 82% are Catholics. Even among the religiously unaffiliated, 2% of atheists, 25% of agnostics, and 50% of those identified as “nothing in particular” believe in angels. This broad acceptance of angels fascinates Devin Hunter, a professional medium and author. Angels are found in various religions and traditions, which serves to unite humanity.

For Jennifer Goodwin of Oviedo, Florida, angels provide a sense of comfort and connection to her deceased parents. She believes that her parents are still watching over the family, manifesting in moments of comfort. While angels hold different meanings for different people, the idea of loved ones becoming angels after death is not unusual. However, according to Grogger, angels are not former humans but are separate beings at a higher level in heaven’s hierarchy. They interact with humans, although the specifics of that interaction are not fully understood.

The belief in angels can be traced through the Bible and the worldviews of its authors. These beliefs have evolved throughout history, influenced by various cultures and theologians. Angels in the Bible act as God’s obedient soldiers, carrying out tasks that can include violence. This perception of angels as idyllic figures with wings stems from the belief that each person has a good and bad angel or spirit guiding them. Despite the different interpretations, angels continue to hold a significant place in the belief systems of many Americans.

In summary, angels are widely believed in America, with about 70% of US adults saying they believe in them. They are seen as a source of comfort and a connection to something greater than oneself. Belief in angels transcends religious boundaries and unites people across different beliefs and traditions. While angels may hold different meanings for different individuals, their existence continues to be a topic of fascination and belief in American society.

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