San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Poll Reveals Ticos Believe in Angels

“Si Dios quiere,” (if God wills it),the expression that often prefaces plansand promises in Costa Rica, such as,“I’ll be there at nine, si Dios quiere,”may not be just idle space filler. Faith isapparently a much greater part of theCosta Rican worldview than low churchattendance – in the 20% range – wouldsuggest.A recent poll revealed that 86.7% ofCosta Ricans believe in angels, 88.5%believe in heaven, and 89.7% believe inmiracles.The poll, conducted by Demoscopíaand published in the daily Al Día,shows the strong Catholic influence onCosta Rican society, suggesting that61.9% believe appearances of theVirgin Mary are fact.While 92.7% believe there is such athing as sin, only 77% believe the devilexists, and less, 71.8%, believe in hell.64.8% say there are people possessedby demons.Beliefs not so readily associatedwith Christianity are not as commonlyheld. 68.2 % said it is impossible to seethe future in a crystal ball, through tarotcards, or by reading palms. 61.9% saidthey never read their horoscopes and90.3% said they do not own luckcharms or any such object that mightbring luck or repulse bad influences.However, 42.4% said they do believe inwitches.Also, 63.5% do not believe inhaunted houses, 61.5% do not believein reincarnation and 55.7% do notbelieve in the existence of aliens.The poll of 1,200 people over age18 was conducted May 21-June 1, witha 2.8% margin of error.

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