It's a Scientific Fact: Faith Heals
It’s a simple fact: More than 300 studies have found that people with strong religious faith are far healthier than non-believers. And they are far less likely to die prematurely from any cause. Having faith can also speed recovery from physical and mental illness, surgery… and even addiction.
After suffering from depression most of her life, Christine found herself, an atheist, asking for a sign from God. “I need to know I’m not alone,” she whispered in her despair. Suddenly, something at her window caught her eye: a monarch butterfly. It fluttered at her window for a few minutes, then flew off. “I decided to take that as a ‘yes’,“ says Christine. “I didn’t believe for a minute that it was coincidence. It was the first – and last - butterfly I ever saw at my window.”
And it was also the last day Christine suffered from depression. What years of therapy and anti-depressants couldn’t cure, faith did. Christine’s sudden recovery once would have been scoffed at by doctors as just another manifestation of her neurosis. But today, solid medical research has uncovered one of the greatest healing miracles of all time in what is both the most unlikely – and likely – of places: church.
Christine’s cure would come as no surprise to a director of religion, spirituality and health at a leading university center. In a recent study of 87 seriously depressed men and women, it was found that those who put spirituality at the centre of their lives recovered 70 percent faster than those who didn’t. And the more spiritually centered an individual was, the faster he or she healed.
A second study, involving 1, 700 people over the age of 65, compared immune system factors in those who attended religious services with those who didn’t. The director and his colleagues found that those who went to services – even if they went just once a month – had significantly stronger immune systems.