Christmas in America: Belief in the Virgin birth and visits from Santa

santaBy Cathy Lynn Grossman

WASHINGTON (RNS) Nearly one in three Americans, including many with no little children at home and those with no religious identity, say they pretend Santa will visit their house on Christmas Eve.

Overall, 31 percent of  U.S. adults play up the Santa role in their holiday season, according to a survey released Wednesday (Dec. 18) by the Pew Research Center.

Jesus, however, is still the star of Christmas.

The survey finds that 73 percent of adults believe Jesus was born of a virgin — the act of God at the theological heart of the Christmas story, the birth of the Christ child.

That belief is held overwhelmingly by Christians of all stripes and even by some people with no formal religion: 32 percent of “nones” say they, too, believe in the Virgin birth of Jesus.



Comments 1

  • I’m a little troubled by the RNS headline that seems to equate believing in the Virgin Birth and believing in Santa Claus. The article makes it clear that while most surveyed believe the Virgin Birth of Jesus occurred, even a goodly number of the “nones,” other people surveyed are pretending that Santa is making visits to their homes. But you’d never know that from the headline.

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