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Loss of Traditional Religion Leads to Rising Interest in The Occult

While the United States is gradually becoming more spiritual and less religious, polls show that belief in the paranormal is on the rise. Polls conducted in recent decades by Gallup and the data firm YouGov suggest that roughly half of Americans believe demonic possession is real. The percentage who believe in the devil is even higher, and in fact has been growing: Gallup polls show that the number rose from 55 percent in 1990 to 70 percent in 2007.

But why is belief in demons on the rise when belief in Christian faith is declining? It seems that people seek spiritual fulfillment through the occult. Carlos Eire, a historian at Yale said, “As people’s participation in orthodox Christianity declines, there’s always been a surge in interest in the occult and the demonic. Today we’re seeing a hunger for contact with the supernatural.”

Adam Jortner, an expert on American history at Auburn University, agrees, “When the influence of the major institutional Churches is curbed, people begin to look for their own answers. ... At the same time that there has been a rebirth in magical thinking, American culture has become steeped in movies, TV shows, and other media about demons and demonic possession.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

This situation could actually lead many back to the church. As secularization creates a gap where people begin to seek out the demonic, more and more are returning to the church seeking freedom from demonic oppression in the form of exorcism.

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