November 2, 2012
Where Is Belief in Miracles Growing Fastest? Among Those Who Don't Attend Church
Penn State researcher says those "certain" miracles exist up 22 percent over past two decades.
Even as religious affiliation declines in America, 55 percent of Americans now say they are "certain" that miracles occur—a 22 percent increase over the past two decades.
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, Pennsylvania State University researcher Robert Martin reported to the American Sociological Association that some four in five Americans now believe miracles definitely or probably occur. Martin analyzed General Social Survey data from 1991 to 2008 and found that "service attendance is the strongest predictor of belief in miracles."
Belief is miracles is growing across the board, suggesting a wider cultural shift. Yet, in recent years, the strongest gains were reported by those who attend services infrequently, Martin reported.
"The nature of this strengthening suggests many people are being convinced that miracles exist by sources outside the doors of organized religion," Martin wrote in a Science and Religion Today column.
This includes the widespread "discussion of miracles in the media, namely in television programs like The Oprah Winfrey Show and in popular literature," he said.