A new study conducted by Swiss scientists found that religious affiliation is lowering suicide rates. Based on data from the Swiss Census 2000, the researchers found that the suicid rate among 100.000 people aged 34 to 95 without religious affiliation amounted to 39. Among protestants, the number decreased to 29 and among Catholics to 20.
The study thus confirmed a classic observation by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), who assumed that religiosity might offer reproductive and survival advantages and conducted the famous study "Suicide" (1897).
Adrian Spoerri, Marcel Zwahlen, Matthias Bopp, Felix Gutzwiller, Matthias Egger: Religion and assisted and non-assisted suicide in Switzerland: National Cohort Study. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2010, doi:10.1093/ije/dyq141