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Survey: 27 percent of Americans see God’s hand in sports

JTA

January 29, 2013 | 9:17 am

From left: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Photos by Reuters

From left: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Photos by Reuters

Fewer than three in 10 Americans believe that God plays a role in determining sports outcomes, according to a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute.

That 27 percent believed in divine intervention in athletic competition was among the findings of the January Religion and Politics Tracking Survey, which also found that 53 percent of Americans believe that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success.

Among the survey’s other findings were that 26 percent of Americans are more likely to be in church than watching football, compared to 17 percent who said the opposite.

Half of the survey’s 1,033 respondents approved of athletes expressing their faith publicly by thanking God during or after a sporting event, and 76 percent agree that public high schools should be allowed to sponsor prayer before football games.

According to the survey, about two-thirds of Americans are very (44 percent) or somewhat (22 percent) likely to watch Sunday's Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.

The website of the Washington-based institute, which was founded in 2009, says it is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization that conducts public opinion surveys and research "to help journalists, opinion leaders, scholars, clergy, and the general public better understand debates on public policy issues and the role of religion in American public life."

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