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Study: suicide rates higher in Protestant nations than Catholic ones

Catholic World News - March 14, 2012

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Warwick in England found that the suicide rate is 74% higher in nations where 85% or more of the population is Protestant than in nations where 85% or more of the population is Catholic.

“Even today, countries that are majority Protestant tend to have substantially higher suicide rates than those which are majority Catholic, suggesting that the relation of religion and suicide remains a vital topic,” said researcher Sascha Becker.

“When life hits hard, a Catholic can rely on a stronger community which might help him to cope,” Becker added. In addition, “Protestantism stresses the importance of God’s grace alone and not by any merit of man’s own work, whereas Catholicism allows for God's judgment to be affected by man’s deeds and sins. As a consequence, committing suicide entails the prospect of foregoing paradise for Catholics but not for Protestants.”

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  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Mar. 14, 2012 7:24 PM ET USA

    As Catholics we do have all the Saints in Heaven, the souls in purgatory, the good angels and our Lady to accompany us on our journey in addition to the life giving grace of the sacraments--especially Confession and Holy Communion--to keep us out of deep despair. We are never alone. The Catholic view of life is so much more all encompassing and hopeful than the Protestant view.

  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Mar. 14, 2012 6:35 AM ET USA

    I know lots of folks will want to read something more into this story but by alone these stats don't mean much. There are lots of other factors that need to be investigated to draw what appears to be an obvious conlcusion. In adition to the religious variable, industrialized versus non-industrialized, and other factors should be checked. If tracked, how has the suicide rate been in developing countries such as Pakistan, South Korea, and even China. Lots more can be learned here.

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