Christians’ supernatural experiences surveyed

02 September 2016

DAVID C. COOK

Authors: Mike Pilavachi (left) and Andy Croft

Authors: Mike Pilavachi (left) and Andy Croft

MORE than half of practising Chris­tians of varying denominations in the UK have experienced the super­natural in the past year, including during prayer and in church, a new book has suggested.

In a survey of 1409 Christians, conducted by Christian Research for the book Everyday Supernatural: Living a Spirit-led life without being weird, two-thirds said that they had had a “personal experience” of the supernatural in their lifetime. More than half of these said that this had occurred in the past year, and 24 per cent during the past week (begin­ning 10 July).

The majority of these experiences involved “answered prayers”; spirit­ual healing; or “a feeling of God’s presence” during prayer, commun­ion, or worship. Some respondents also described witnessing miracles, celes­tial visitations, and physical healing.

Five per cent said that they did not believe in the supernatural at all, while 68 per cent — the majority of whom were over 60 — felt that over-emphasising the part played by Christian miracles damaged the reputation of the faith. Two-thirds of respondents said that they be-
lieved that supernatural experiences might be caused by “paranormal or evil forces” as well as the divine.

The participants in the survey were mainly Anglican (45 per cent), Baptist (12 per cent), Methodist (nine per cent), and “Independent” (eight per cent). Roman Catholic, New Church, Pen­te­costal, and ­ Christians were all marginally represented (one to three per cent); the remaining 14 per cent defined their faith as “other” than these.

More than a quarter of those surveyed were from the south-east of the country. London and the south-west were strongly repre­sented. The majority (71 per cent) were aged 55 or over; half a per cent were under 24. About ten per cent more men than women took part in the survey.

The book is a spiritual and prac­tical guide to the “everyday” super­natural, a co-author, Andy Croft, said this week. “Clearly, a significant number of people believe the super­natural should be a part of Chris­tians’ everyday experience. We don’t need to become super-spiritual Christians to see God at work. And we don’t need to become weird.”

Everyday Supernatural by Mike Pilavachi and Andy Croft is pub­lished by David C. Cook (£9.99).

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