Religious Worshippers Less Likely to Commit Suicide
People who attend regular religious services are less likely to commit suicide than those who don't, according to a study out of the University of Manitoba. 37,000 Canadians were queried by the researchers, who found that those who didn't worship on a regular basis were twice as likely to off themselves.
People who attended religious services were less likely to have attempted suicide or had suicidal thoughts in the past year than those who did not, Rasic said. The same was true for people with a history of depression or anxiety disorders.
"Those people who attended church at least once a year had decreased rates of suicidal attempts," said Rasic, now a resident at Dalhousie University in Halifax. "Those who don't are twice as likely to have attempted suicide."
Respondents who identified themselves simply as "spiritual" and didn't adhere to an organized religion had the same rate of attempted suicide as non-believers, he added.
It is suspected that while attending religious services keeps people connected to community, family and support networks, another primary cause behind this finding is likely the fact that suicide is a forbidden act according to most major religions.
This is believed to be the first study to use Canada-wide data to examine the relationship between faith and the likelihood to commit suicide.