Can Religion Make You Healthier?

Religion might add years to your life.

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Let’s make it clear. Religion is responsible for dozens of millions of death, from the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades and the calls for jihad. And that’s just the tip of iceberg. A wrong gesture or sentence can get you killed or your hand chopped off in a few countries.

Religion can definitively bring the worst of humans out.

Many of us are also put off by the official dogma. It’s hard to reconcile evolution theory (or physics) with religion. Or the ideals of democracy with the autocracy that many religions promote.

Yet, religion seems also to have a curative effect. A 2003 study shows church attendance lowers by 25% risk of mortality. Researchers have found that weekly attendance at religious services is associated with 2 to 3 additional years of life expectancy. In another study, women aged 50 and up were 20% less likely to die in any given year if they attended religious services weekly.

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