Most individuals regard religion as something important and consider it as an essential factor in having a happy life. An American Sociological Review study found out that this may not necessarily be the case.
The study reported that having a circle of friends in the congregation and possessing a strong religious identity are what contributes to the happiness of pious individuals.
Chaeyoon Lim, lead author of the study, worked in collaboration with Robert Putnam, author of “Bowling Alone” and “American Grace.” Lim noted that friends in religious congregations provide a sense of belonging which consequently gives a feeling of acceptance and happiness.
Unlike previous studies, this latest study on the connection between religion and happiness does not consider prayer, holding religious services in your residence, and strength of faith as factors in the satisfaction and happiness of religious people.
Nearly 2,000 participants in the United States having different religious beliefs were interviewed twice, once in 2006 and another one the following year. Majority of the participants were Protestants and Catholics. Participants who gained friends in their congregations were found out to be happier than those who did not gain any friends throughout the course.