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Graham Crumb
Graham Crumb
UK News

Faith in God makes people happier with their health, according to new stats

by Heather Preston

A new study has shown people who have a faith tend to be happier with their health.

Data from the Office for National Statistics found that 68 per cent of Christians are content with their physical wellbeing compared to just 64 per cent of those who have no faith.

The research was carried out to explore the relationship between religion and health.

It found that people over the age of 16 who did not have a faith were significantly less likely to be happy with the state of their health.

Some religious experts have linked the results to believers having a more hopeful outlook on the future, a theory that has been rejected by secular groups.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour Chair of the Religion Media Centre, Michael Wakelin suggested "an attitude of gratitude" among Christians could play a part in their more optimistic outlook.

He said: "If you believe that you are made in God's image, and as it says in Psalm 139, you've been knitted together in your mother's womb, you're going to have a bit more respect for your body's sanctity, and your health. 
"I think it just goes with the idea that you've been made by a loving God. That means you're going to take better care of yourself."

He went on to say that the eternal hope that the Christian message teaches is another contributing factor:
"We have hope, and I think hope is an incredibly powerful weapon in our armoury against illness. We have something to live for we believe that one day there will be no more tears and no more suffering. And we want to get there.

"So, along with this attitude of gratitude, which I think, is a very positive thing. Christians have this understanding that love and suffering are somehow combined. And we accept that knowing that they will go together, and knowing that there will be a better day."

The study revealed that Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus and Jews all had a higher percentage of people satisfied with their health than those do not follow a religion.

In contrast to Wakelin's views, Stephen Evans, chief executive officer at the National Secular Society told the Telegraph that it's important not to grant religions "magic explanatory powers" based on these findings.

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