The Effects of Religion on Depression and Suicide Rates in the United States

Carl E. Enomoto, Theophilus Djaba, Sajid A. Noor


Depression and suicide are major health problems in the United States and in the World.  According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2014), “Suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined (p. 1).”  Many of the victims of suicide were also victims of depression.  Research has shown that those who are religious are less likely to suffer from depression and less likely to commit suicide.  This study shows that for the three major religious groups in the United States, evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, and Catholics, number of cases of depression are reduced, but the number of suicides increases for evangelical Protestants.  Depression may be reduced since religion provides many benefits to individuals including a social network whereby those in distress can seek comfort from others.  Furthermore, those who are religious are also more secure in their beliefs of life after death, personal salvation, and the forgiveness of their sins which may reduce pressures put on them by everyday life.  However, it may  be that feelings of inadequacy over not being able to live up to the strict teachings of some evangelical religious groups and the fact that anyone questioning the strict beliefs of the church should be ostracized, could be contributing factors to the stress, trauma, and lack of self worth, that lead to thoughts of suicide.

Keywords: religion, evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, Catholics, depression, suicide

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN 2422-8443

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©