Poll shows highly religious are more helpful
- Published on 06 November 2008
- Written by Derek Michaud
- Hits: 18457
In a recent Gallop Poll, highly religious people across all geographic regions of the world, and across five major world religious traditions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism) were more likely than less religious respondents to report having engaged in each of three "helping behaviors," including donating money to charity, volunteering, and assisting a stranger. For example, highly religious respondents, defined as those for whom religion plays a role in their daily lives and who reported attending a religious service within the past week, were consistently more likely to say they gave money to charity. Differences in rates between less religious and highly religious respondents ranged from 15% to 23% in Africa to 28% to 43% in Europe but across the world and across religions highly religious respondents reported higher rates of giving to charity.Similar results were found for volunteering, but the difference was significantly smaller for helping a stranger (the difference between highly and less religious was smaller in this case but highly religious still scored higher across regions and religions). While these rates of "helping behaviors" cannot be said to show that religion causes people to help others, the findings are suggestive of an increased importance placed on such behavior within religious communities. When one remembers that the highly religious tend to be significantly poorer than the less religious the higher rate in charitable giving is particularly interesting.
See the original report here.