It’s long been assumed that religious belief and participation contributes to overall happiness. Now there are some statistics confirming that.
The Pew Research Center has released a survey that found, globally, those active in congregations “tend to be happier and more civically engaged than either religiously unaffiliated adults or inactive members of religious groups.”
The Pew survey covered more than 24 nations, including the United States.
Religiously affiliated people in Mexico led the way, with 71 percent of them describing themselves as “very happy.” In Colombia, 58 percent of actively religious people said they are happy.
In the United States, 36 percent of actively religious people said they are “very happy,” compared to 25 percent each for the inactive and unaffiliated, according to Pew.
Elsewhere, 20 percent in Estonia and Russia, and 19 percent of Ukrainians said they were “very happy.”
Only in Ecuador, South Africa, Hong Kong and Slovenia did either inactive or unaffiliated people report higher levels of happiness than those active in their faith, Pew said.
CBF extends ministry grant deadline
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is accepting applications for funds to support congregational efforts to build relationships in their communities.
The Ministry Council Grant seeks to support innovative and creative proposals that address efforts in racial justice, immigration and refugee ministry, lay leadership and abuse and violence.
Past awards have ranged from $500 to nearly $9,000, with the average award being about $4,600.
“Tell us what you are doing, why these funds would help, and help expand our knowledge of what is taking place across the Fellowship,” CBF said in announcing the application process. “We are especially interested in resources that can be developed, shared, and replicated across the Fellowship.”
The deadline for proposals has been extended to April 1. Applications are available online.
BPFNA funds designated for global causes
The Baptist Peace Fellowship/Bautistas por la Paz has created a peace fund to help finance six projects around the world in 2019.
“This fund gives grants to empower small, grassroots groups doing the work of peacemaking on a local or regional level,” the organization announced online March 1.
The Peace Fund this year will support projects that include nonviolence education for children in marginalized communities in Mexico, conflict transformation and trauma awareness training in Uganda, transformation and youth leadership development in Burundi, and economic empowerment, and emotional and spiritual support for women victims of gender violence in Colombia.
More information is available online.