Believers are happier than atheists'
People who believe in God are happier than agnostics or atheists, researchers claimed yesterday.
A report found that religious people were better able to cope with disappointments such as unemployment or divorce than non-believers.
Moreover, they become even happier the more they pray and go to church, claims the study by Prof Andrew Clark and Dr Orsolya Lelkes.
The research, presented at the Royal Economic Society's annual conference, echoes academic studies that have found religion can improve people's sense of wellbeing.
Using data from Britain and Europe, the study found believers enjoyed higher levels of satisfaction and suffered less psychological damage from unemployment, divorce or the death of a partner.
However, it also found that religious people across Europe tended to be more socially conservative and opposed to Government intervention in areas such as employment.
Believers, for example, were less likely to look for a new job if they were out of work.
Countries with a more religious electorate had lower unemployment benefits.
The study, Deliver Us From Evil: Religion as Insurance, found that less than a sixth of churchgoers in Britain believe it is better to divorce than stay in an unhappy marriage.
The authors of the study said: "Religion tempers the impact of adverse life events."