Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Gallup: Religious Practice Alive and Well in America

Sarah Torre
April 2, 2012

A new Gallup poll finds that a majority of Americans are very or moderately religious, a statistic that bodes well for individual well-being and the health of civil society.

The study found that four in 10 Americans believe that religion plays an important role in their daily lives and frequently attend religious services. In total, over two-thirds of Americans remain moderately or very religious, meaning they consider religion at least somewhat important or regularly attend worship services.

Regular religious observance can have a positive impact on adolescent behavior, teen academic achievement, and maintaining an intact, married family. As research on Heritage’s FamilyFacts.org points out, teens who regularly practice their faith are at a decreased risk of using illicit drugs and engaging in sexual activity and tend to complete more years of schooling. Families who frequent worship services are more likely to enjoy lower levels of conflict, increased marital stability, and greater parental involvement. Religious belief and practice can even have a positive impact on adults’ mental and physical health, decreasing major depression and lowering cancer mortality risks.

In addition, those who regularly attend religious services are more likely to volunteer and make charitable donations. the rest


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