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A Lot of Americans Think the Spirit World Exists

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Author Topic: A Lot of Americans Think the Spirit World Exists  (Read 93 times)
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« on: May 08, 2014, 10:01:32 pm »

But in all of this data, the most captivating part is what these groups have in common: Among all of them, huge proportions said they believe in various kinds of spirits. It's not surprising that the unaffiliated were the most dubious, but even so, roughly 40 percent of them said they believe in possession, witchcraft, and the ability to talk to spirits.

These beliefs are particularly interesting in the Hispanic context. Spirit traditions vary widely across Latin America—for example, the survey found that Hispanic-Americans with Salvadoran roots were much more likely than any other group to believe in possession. Certain spirit-related rituals have become prominent in the United States, especially predominately Mexican traditions like celebrating the Day of the Dead and praying to Santa Muerte, Our Lady of the Holy Death. These seem to both draw from and transcend religious belief—they provide latent, powerful suggestions about the nature of the world around us, tools for navigating the mystery of life and death. Clearly, these are not backwater beliefs only held by the deeply religious or the culturally isolated, as certain stereotypes might suggest; for lots of people, the spirit world is real. This idea can be a lot of different things—sacred and secular, spooky and silly. Ghosts may often be treated as jokes or anachronisms, but for many, they still secretly haunt the heart.
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