Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Want to Live in a Safe Place?
Does faith make people safer?
Two studies suggest the answer is yes, both by creating a moral climate that fosters respect among neighbors and by helping to form individual consciences of young adults.
Communities with high levels of active participation in congregations may be particularly effective in reducing assaults, rapes and murders in some poor areas that are most likely to suffer from violent crimes, the research indicates.
Just don’t expect young men and women who are among the growing numbers of people who consider themselves “spiritual but not religious” to have the same moral inhibitions.
A Baylor University study of more than 15,000 people ages 18 to 28 found that while young adults who considered themselves religious were less likely than others to commit violent or property crimes, those who claimed to be spiritual but set apart from organized religion were more likely to engage in both types of criminal activity.
A separate study analyzing crime and religion data from 182 counties in three states found violent crime decreased as greater numbers of people were religiously active in a community. The effect was particularly pronounced in black violence in disadvantaged communities that are most likely to have the highest number of victims.
“In the big picture, religious presence seems to matter to the amount of violence and crime in a community,” says Jeffery Ulmer, a professor of sociology and crime, law and justice at Pennsylvania State University who led the county-level study. “It matters to blacks, whites and Latinos.”
See my book Healing Release of the Holy Spirit for more on this topic and how God brings freedom from Bondage, Rebellion, Guilt and Shame. Free and loving! PTL!