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Is Religion Good For Your Health?

Alex Prolmos
Flickr Creative Commons

The latest numbers from the Pew Research Center show that the number of Americans who say they believe in God has declined in recent years. And millennials are much less likely than older Americans to belong to any religious faith.

But despite these trends, psychiatrist and researcher Harold Koenig argues that science shows that religious belief is good for mental and physical health.

Koenig is the cofounder and director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke Medical Center. He has spent the past 30 years looking at the connection between religion and health, and his latest book “Health and Well-Being in Islamic Societies”(Springer International Publishing/2014)  examines the impact of Islam on the daily health practices of modern-day Muslims.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Harold Koenig about his research in advance of his keynote presentation at “Spirited Talks,” an event sponsored by the nonprofit Johnson Service Corps at Chapel of The Cross in Chapel Hill tomorrow at 7 p.m.

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Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.