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7 Reasons Religion Is Good for You

Our religion is the foundation upon which many of us base our lives. We are guided by religious principles and motivated to attain its goals.

Most People Are Religious

Of a worldwide population of 7.5 billion, 80% identify with a religion. Christianity, with 2.1 billion people, is the most practiced religion, followed by Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.

Of U.S. citizens, 89% say they believe in God, and 70.6% identify as Christian.

Benefits of Religion

People who are highly religious—who pray each day and go to services at least once a week—are “more engaged with their extended families, more likely to volunteer, more involved in their communities and generally happier with the way things are going in their lives,” according to Pew Research.

Of the highly religious, 65% say they have donated money, time or goods to help the poor in the past week, compared with 41% of people who say they are less religious.

7 Reasons Religion Is Good for You

Other benefits include:

    1. Lower blood pressure. A Duke University Medical Center study found that religious older adults are 40% less likely to have high blood pressure than adults who said they weren’t religious.

    2. Healthier immune system. Another study found that older adults who regularly attended religious services were about half as likely as those who don’t to have high levels of interleukin-6, an inflammatory protein in the immune system linked to certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, and some viral infections.

    3. Longer survival with cancer. Religious late-stage cancer patients had a higher (7.4%) rate of resuscitation than those who weren’t (1.8%).

    4. More satisfaction. Religious people report that they’re happier. A study in the American Sociological Review indicates this is likely because regular church attendance leads to strong social bonds within congregations. “We all will eventually move in certain directions in life as a result of all this and the measurement I suggest is the degree of happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment our particular state in life brings about for us will be equal to the degree to which we have successfully determined God’s will for our lives and made it our own,” said Father Joe Ferraioli, O.M.I., chaplain at Benedictine Living Community-At The Shrine.

    5. Longevity. People who attend religious services live seven years longer compared to those who never go. This is attributed to the social benefits of religion.

    6. Protects against depression. Older patients with depressive symptoms recovered better if religion played a large part in their lives.

    7. Reduces stress. Periods of respite from daily life lead to a reduction in stress. According to Benedictine Pastoral Care Director Mary Mertzlufft, “When we center ourselves through being quiet in God’s presence within us, we look at life with different eyes, perhaps giving others an excuse or putting things into a balanced perspective.”

Grow in Faith

As a faith-based continuing care community, Benedictine offers a wide variety of spiritual wellness opportunities, including worship services, a chapel, pastoral counseling, liturgical ministries, and volunteer efforts. We invite you to call us at 800-533-6279 to learn more or to schedule a tour.

Faith-Based Apps

Bring your faith into the 21st Century with these apps, available on iOS and Android:

  • The Gospel Coalition is a collection of Biblically and theologically informed essays, articles, and blog posts.
  • Amazon Kindle offers numerous free and cheap spiritual texts.
  • FOCUS Equip offers Catholic audios and videos.
  • The Pope App lets you know what the Pope is doing and thinking. If you’re a fan of the Pope, this app is for you.