Virginians are religious. That's probably not a surprise, but just how religious are people in the Commonwealth? How many of us go to church, read a holy book, or believe in the afterlife?
A scientific poll was conducted across Virginia by the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College. The Roanoke Collge poll found most Virginians, a whopping 94% believe in God. "Religion really is an integral part of Virginians lives," said Dr. Harry Wilson, Director of the Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research.
Most Virginians, 90% are Christian. 42% are Baptist, 17% are Methodist and 13% are Catholic.
Of the Christians polled more than half, 57%, consider themselves born again or evangelical, a somewhat surprising finding, according to Wilson. "When we think of evangelical we only think of social conservatives, the Jerry Falwell types, but in fact there are liberal evangelicals as well," Wilson said.
Most Virginians, 70%, believe in a holy book no matter what religious faith they practice. Forty nine percent attend service weekly, 80 percent pray daily and 11 percent pray every week.
But Virginians stand out when it comes to their beliefs about the power of prayer. "The one thing really jumped out is that Virginians seem to be about 30% higher in believing that they get specific answers to specific prayer requests," Wilson said. That's 30% more than the nationwide poll. In fact more than half of Virginians, 57% believe they regularly receive definite answers to specific prayers.
When it comes to believing in miracles, 83% believe, 75% believe that angels and demons are active in the world, 33% believe natural disasters are a warning from God, while fewer, 17% view the September 11, 2001 attacks that way.
When it comes to the afterlife, 80% believe there is one while 87% believe that there is a heaven.
Some of the questions on the poll were tailored after The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Religious Landscape Study which allows a comparison between Virginian and the nation.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.