According to a recent Pew research, people who identify with a religious group and are active in church tend to be happier, and more civically engaged.
The study, Religion’s Relationship to Happiness, Civic Engagement and Health Around the World, issued on January 31, 2019 by the Pew Research Center, surveyed the views of people from 35 countries, reports Crux Now.
We can’t prove religion makes people happier. But it’s an important and fundamental question. —Joey Marshall, lead researcher for Pew
Participants were categorized into three groups: actively religious, inactives, and unaffiliated. The “actively religious” are members of a religious group and attend church services at least once a month, while the “inactives” are those who identify with a religion and attend services less often. The “unaffiliated” are individuals who do not identify with any organized religion.
Figures showed that among the religious Americans, 36% of them claimed to be “very happy” compared with just 25% of both inactive and unaffiliated participants.
“We began with a more fundamental question about religion’s role in societal and individual well-being,” said Joey Marshall, lead researcher for Pew. “We can’t prove religion makes people happier. But it’s an important and fundamental question.”
In terms of civic engagement, religious Americans are more likely to join community groups and participate in voluntary works. Based on the data, 58% of actively religious Americans said they are also active in at least one nonreligious organization such as charity groups or labor unions. Meantime, 51% of the inactives and 39% of the unaffiliated said they are engaged in other types of groups.
The study also revealed that religious Americans are less likely to smoke tobacco and drink alcohol. 95% of the religiously active in the United States said they abstained from excessive practices.