Billy Graham has preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history — nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film and webcasts. He has advised presidents, written 32 books, was the first major evangelist to speak behind the Iron Curtain, and has been one of the most admired men in the world for five decades (Gallup).
And David found that there were many problems that technology could not solve. -Billy Graham
In The Future of an Illusion (1927/1961) Sigmund Freud viewed religion as “comparable to a childhood neurosis”. But he also called it, “the most precious possession of civilization”.
What do we know about Religion & Health?
According to Harold G. Koenig, M.D., Director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University Medical Center, who literally wrote the book on Religion and Health.
The Short Version of Koenig’s work(pdf)
Religious Practice in America
• 93% of Americans believe in God or a higher power
• 62% are members of a church, synagogue or mosque
• 58% pray every day (75% at least weekly)
• 42% attend religious services weekly or almost weekly
• 55% attend religious services at least monthly
• 90% turned to religion to cope with September 11th
• 90% of hospitalized patients rely on religion to cope
• Lower perceptions of stress and less depression
• Greater wellbeing, happiness, meaning, purpose, hope
• Less alcohol/drug use, especially among the young
• 1 of 8 studies show religious persons weigh less
• 4 of 6 studies show significantly more likely to exercise
• Marital stability greater – less divorce, greater satisfaction
• Social support greater
• Shorter hospital stays, fewer hospital days per year
• Fewer heart attacks and strokes
• Better recovery following cardiac surgery, fewer complications
• Lower blood pressure
• Better immune functioning
• Lower stress hormone levels
• Less cancer, longer survival with cancer
• Less susceptibility to infection
• Greater longevity
• Slower cognitive decline with aging, Alzheimer’s disease
• Less functional disability with increasing age
• Why does this matter?
• Is the trend toward nonreligious a good or bad for the world?
• Growth of the nonreligious
• What effects might the increasing trend toward nonreligious have on society?
• What institutions might take the place of religion?
• Will a future predominantly nonreligious people be able to cope?
• If you believe so, then how?