This report presents the findings of an evidence review prepared by Dr Natascha Klocker, Brigid Trenerry and Kim Webster for VicHealth, which explores the relationship between freedom of religion and belief, and health and well being.
As Australia has become increasingly culturally diverse, there has also been an increase in religious diversity. The report provides evidence that religion and belief, religious discrimination and race-based discrimination all impact on health in various ways. Although there is strong evidence of a range of positive mental health outcomes, the relationship between religion/belief and physical health is less clear.
Despite some shortcomings in the literature reviewed, it has been possible to conclude that individuals of faith who experience religious freedom have the potential to experience a range of positive health effects that may be associated with their religion/belief.
How does religion and belief affect health and wellbeing?