Researchers at the University of Wisconsin analyzed data collected during the 2-year nationwide “Faith Matters” study. The result: 33% of people who attend religious services and have at least 3 close friends in the congregation reported being “extremely satisfied” with their lives.
And the friendships were more important than the services themselves. In fact, the study found that people who go to church every week and don’t have friends in the congregation were no happier than those who don’t go to church at all. So, what makes religious friendships different from other friendships? Experts say there’s a high level of trust in congregations. Because there’s the knowledge that you can call on your fellow church members to help you in a time of need, even if you don’t regularly socialize with them outside of church.
Also, that level of support and comfort boosts life satisfaction in just about every denomination, including Christians, Jews and Mormons.