In a 2009 Pew survey, Religion and Public Life, nearly half of all respondents (49%) said they had a religious or mystical experience, defined as a “moment of sudden religious insight or awakening.” These experiences:
were somewhat more frequent among people age 30 to 64 (53%) than in people who were older and younger (43%)
were more common among white evangelicals and black Protestants (70%) than white liberal Protestants or Catholics (c. 40%)
occurred with similar frequency among conservatives and liberals
Among people with no religious affiliation, and among those who said they rarely or never go to church, more than 30% said they’d had a religious or mystical experience. And, among self-described atheists, agnostics and the “secular unaffiliated” (who describe their religion as “nothing in particular” and say that religion is not important in their lives), almost one-in-five (18%) said they’d had this kind of experience.
Similar results were seen in the General Social Survey, where spiritual feelings were common among those who said they do not believe in God.
When asked how often they are “spiritually touched by the beauty of creation” about one-third of nonbelievers said every day or many times a day and almost half said most days or some days. Only about one-quarter said once in a while or never/almost never.
And, when asked how often they feel “deep inner peace or harmony”, about three-eighths of nonbelievers said once in a while or never/almost never, but almost half said most days or some days, and one-eighth said every day or many times a day.