Poll: Nearly 8 in 10 Americans believe in angels

In this photo released by the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Nov. 8, 2011, is seen a fresco painted by Giotto in the famed basilica, where an art historian has spied a horned devil hidden in the frescoed clouds. The Franciscans say the surprising detail had likely escaped notice for eight centuries despite all the attention that Giotto's cycle of frescoes receives from art lovers in the upper level of the basilica. AP Photo/Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, ho

Angels don't just sing at Christmastime. For most Americans, they're a year-round presence. A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows that 77 percent of adults believe these ethereal beings are real.

Belief is primarily tied to religion, with 88 percent of Christians, 95 percent of evangelical Christians and 94 percent of those who attend weekly religious services of any sort saying they believe in angels.

But belief in angels is fairly widespread even among the less religious. A majority of non-Christians think angels exist, as do more than 4 in 10 of those who never attend religious services.

Beyond the religious gap, women are more likely than men to believe angels are real, and those over 30 are more apt than younger adults to think they exist.

The finding mirrors a 2006 AP-AOL poll, which found 81 percent believed in angels.

Previous polling has found the public a bit more likely to believe in God, but far less likely to believe in other other-worldly beings. In May, 92 percent of adults told Gallup pollsters they believed in God. But just 34 percent in an AP-Ipsos poll in 2007 said they believed in ghosts or UFOs.

The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Dec. 8-12 and is based on interviews with 1,000 adults nationally. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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