Church Attendance Offers Protection Against Depression

Church Attendance Lagging?
Many have given up regular church attendance for a variety of reasons. Problems with the church, personal problems with the life lived, incredible recreational opportunities in Alaska, and other distractions have all conspired against regular church attendance. Even the apostle Paul cautions to “…not forsake the assembling of yourselves together.” A recently-published Canadian study offers substantial hope in fighting depression from a surprising quarter; regular church attendance.

National Post excerpt…
A major new study that tracked more than 12,000 Canadians over a period of 14 years has found that regular attendance of religious service offers significant protection against depression.

In an article published in the April issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan write that incidence of clinical depression was 22% lower among those who attended religious services at least once a month compared with people who never attended.

“Significantly fewer monthly attenders reported having episodes or a diagnosis of depression,” the authors write. “This … suggests a protective effect of religious attendance.”

Marilyn Baetz, head of the department of psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan, co-wrote the study with Lloyd Balbuena and Rudy Bowen. In an interview she said the explanation for the effect remains something of a mystery.

To view the complete National Post story, click HERE.