New research shows that attending church at least once a week can lead to longer and happier lives – not only that, it can improve entire communities.
Timothy P. Carney, author of “Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse,” writes about what he’s discovered in a recent editorial for the New York Post.
Carney references Sioux County, Iowa as an example. The county is known for its strong Christian presence in the state. The Association of Religious Data Archives states the county has the highest portion of evangelicals and mainline Protestants in Iowa. Carney’s research reveals the county rates low in problems such as drug overdose.
On the other hand, Carney highlights how areas such as Pottawattamie County – Iowa’s least religious county – have the highest rates in the state for violent crimes, overdoses, and disability claims.
Carney reports research from Deseret News and BYU that families attending church at least once a week are “very happy” and are more likely to eat dinner together daily and participate in family activities. The increased family time results in a healthier household.
“Belonging to a church is a crucial element of living a good, happy, healthy life. And this phenomenon ripples out from the individuals into the community,” writes Carney. “Places like Sioux Center, or like Salt Lake City, with full vibrant churches, are places with more upward mobility, more marriage, and more family formation.”
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