According to a Pew Research study released on Friday, religious people live more involved, connected lives than their non-religious counterparts.
“There is something unique about religious and spiritual involved people that contribute to their trust, positive outlook, involvement and engagement in the community,” senior fellow at Pew and leader of the study, Jim Jansen told CNN.
The report’s results were gathered via phone interviews with 2,303 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.
The study, conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project, found that religious Americans’ involvement in religious organizations are often synonymous with their participation in civic organizations and an overall positive outlook on their community.
“The civic and community engagement of religious active Americans” study asked Americans about their membership in 28 different types of clubs and organizations. The average American not involved with a religious organization participated in 2.11 groups, whereas involved Americans averaged participation in 5.11 groups.
The study also found that 45 percent of religiously active Americans viewed their community as a great place to live, in comparison to 34 percent of inactive Americans.
“There are probably multiple variables at play,” said Jansen, according to CNN. “But people that belong to a religious organization are by nature likely to belong to things.”
The Pew study, which also focused on religious Americans’ use of technology, found that religious Americans used technology more than non-religious Americans. Jansen told CNN he believes their use of technology may be tied to their desire to get more involved in their community.
Not all religious groups have joined the technology bandwagon just yet.
Last year, some religious groups organized a “Carbon Fast,” or a fast on technology. The “Carbon Fast,” organized every year by development agency Tearfund, suggests giving up technology for one day every month of the year and giving the saved money to charity.
"Lent is a period when we should look at how we live our lives," said the Rt Rev John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, in a statement. Rev Pritchard initially came up with the fasting idea. "Giving up chocolate is a symbol of that but giving up technology is a more serious way of looking at the issues that face us as a global community. It is a statement [of solidarity] with a world that does not have that ability to communicate the way we can and a reminder to us that perhaps we may have got beyond ourselves in terms of our own consumption of technology.”
Although the results of the Pew report had lots of variables to take into consideration, when factors like income and age are controlled, “religiosity was a factor in most of this analysis,” Jansen told CNN.