Friends Who Pray Together
THE SOURCE: “Religion, Social Networks, and Life Satisfaction” by Chaeyoon Lim and Robert D. Putnam, in American Sociological Review, Dec. 2010.
In study after study, researchers have found that religion makes people happy. Nearly 30 percent of people who attend religious services weekly report “extreme” satisfaction with their lives, compared with less than 20 percent of those who steer clear of religious institutions. Why? Is it because churchgoers feel loved by God? Is it because they sleep easy at night, knowing where they’ll go after they die? No and no. A new study finds that the answer may be much closer to hand: Churchgoers are happier because of the friends they’ve made in the pews.