December 24, 1995
Web posted at: 1:45 p.m. EST (1845 GMT)
From Reporter Jed Duvall
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The business of angels is booming. Angel books are best-sellers, angel merchandise fills specialty stores and angels are at the center of focus groups around the United States.
There are more than a hundred angel stores in the country, including one operated by Marta Robinson in northern Virginia.
"I start by asking people if they've noticed the angels in the clouds," Robinson said.
The spiritual side of the angel boom shows up in what's called "angel circles": combinations of worship and support groups. Participants stand quietly in a circle, holding hands and visualizing angels. (51K AIFF sound or 51K WAV sound)
Organizers of angel circles say their main purpose is to heal, inspire, and motivate.
Mainstream religion views the angel phenomenon as peripheral.
"I think, sometimes people might get so caught up in enthusiasm about an apparently newly discovered realm of the angelic that they might make primary what, in fact, is quite secondary in the scriptures," said Rev. James Wiseman of Catholic University. (170K AIFF sound or 170K WAV sound)
A recent CNN poll said nearly three-quarters of Americans believe in angels. And for believers, angels are everywhere.
"They're at birth, always. They're at death always, at the sides of the hospital beds," said author Sophy Burnham. "They're in war. They're with the children." (119K AIFF sound or 119K WAV sound)
Where are angels? Some are in the stores, as angel trinkets.
The real angels, however, are wherever you think they are.
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