Going to church makes you live longer, but only if you are female

OBADIAH SLOPE
Sunday 22 May 2016

Not a feminist plot: the American Medical Association has published a study that shows that going to church makes you live longer. Over a 20-year span, the study surveyed a group of more than 76,000 female nurses, most of whom were Catholic and Protestant the Washington Post reported. At the end of 20 years, more than 13,000 of them had died. The women who went to religious services more than once a week, it turned out, were 33 per cent less likely to be in that group who died, compared to those who never attended services.

We need a men’s room: Obadiah loves coincidences. This week, the Pew Foundation, which does heaps of research in religion, released stats that show the gender imbalance in church is narrowing in the US. They say it is a worldwide trend. Obadiah wonders if blokes have realised that church makes you live longer.

Oops: What we might call St Paul’s dilemma (who said he was not sure whether it was better to hang around on Earth or go to Heaven) exists here. Isn’t it odd that the institution that should get you ready to meet your maker – the church – has the effect of keeping you here on earth longer?

Middle East news: The site of Jesus’ baptism, blocked off by barbed wire fences for almost 50 years, will soon again be opened to the public, the Christian Broadcasting Network reports. The land around the portion of the Jordan River where many believe Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist is surrounded by seven churches and more than 3,000 land mines.

The world’s largest humanitarian land mine removal organisation is addressing the problem. The HALO Trust says it has received permission from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the seven Christian denominations with churches on the site to begin the process. The public is expected to be able to visit the area by 2018.

Stunning fact: Bible distribution in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq rose by 88 per cent between 2014 and 2015 (to 142,096).

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