United Kingdom

Religion 'ISN'T the secret to happiness', global study claims

Atheists are just as happy as religious believers, a study revealed yesterday.

It questions the long-accepted convention that Christians and followers of other faiths are more content than atheists or non-religious people.

But the researchers also found those who were 'weakly religious' had a lower life satisfaction compared to those with a firm belief in God or strong atheist views.

Atheists are just as happy as religious believers, a study revealed yesterday (file photo) 

It questions the long-accepted convention that Christians and followers of other faiths are more content than atheists or non-religious people (file photo)

The study was based on surveys carried out in 24 countries which asked participants about their beliefs and happiness.

The researchers from Cologne University, Germany, found that all except those who were 'weakly religious' showed similar levels of life satisfaction.

And the study, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, concluded that the importance of Christianity to happiness has been exaggerated because the evidence is often drawn from America and its large population of believers.

The team added that faith and happiness depend heavily on the country involved as in strictly religious countries, atheists are less satisfied with their lives.

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