According to a new survey, twice as many Americans say they believe in the power of prayer and heaven as they believe in astrology and reincarnation. The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 72 percent of U.S. adults believe in the power of prayer, while 69 percent believe in heaven. That’s twice as many adults as believe in reincarnation (34 percent) and astrology (34 percent).

Belief in angels (69 percent) also gained majority support, as did karma (63 percent). The concepts of hell (58 percent) and the devil (56 percent) are less popular. Fifty percent of Americans believe the “spirits of those who died can interact with the living, while another 42 percent believe “spiritual energy can be rooted in physical objects. One-third of Americans believe in yoga as a spiritual practice.

Eighty-three percent of Americans say they believe that “some things can’t be explained by science.” A New Testament professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky, Susan Garrett, said believing in angels crosses multiple worldviews.

She told AP, “They’re very malleable. You can have any one of a number of quite different worldviews in terms of your understanding of how the cosmos is arranged, whether there are spirit beings, whether there’s life after death, whether there’s a God and still find a place for angels in that worldview.”

The poll’s findings about heaven and reincarnation align with a 2021 Pew Research Center survey. That earlier poll found that 73 percent of U.S. adults believe in heaven and 62 percent believe in hell, while 33 percent believe in reincarnation. Among self-identified evangelicals, belief in heaven (96 percent) and hell (91 percent) was high. Few evangelicals in the Pew survey (16 percent) said they believed in reincarnation.

The May 11-15 AP survey involved interviews with 1,680 adults.

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