The word “Religion” refers to a body of belief and value systems, practices, affiliations and moral values, unique to a particular group of people, which define their understanding of life, relations and humanity. …
These are associated with unique symbols, such as the Bible and Koran among Christians and Muslims respectively, the church and Mosque (places of worship) for Christians and Muslims respectively, and so forth. Interestingly, almost all of the world’s major religions seem to consent to the fact that there is a supreme being, whom the respective believers worship and offer prayers. They believe that the Supreme Being to be the giver of life and health. Perhaps, the reason why there are different religions is the fact that they differ in their teachings on the origin of life or universe, death and who the Supreme Being is (Carson and Koenig 35). Health, on the other hand, refers to the state of well-being of a person. Health could be physical, mental, psychological or emotional. Thus, a healthy person is one who has all these qualities of health (Peter Roche De Coppens 29). Discussion The relationship between religion and health is based on the fact that most religions believe in a supreme being, who is the giver of life and health. The believers have faith in Him and pray to Him for healing. They believe he can heal both disease and disability. This kind of healing is now known as Faith Based Healing by scientists (FBH). FBH has gained popularity in the current American society, especially among the Christian community. This has been fueled by television networks such as the California based TBN, Missions and ministries, which pray for the sick, etc. Therefore, scientists, who until recently ignored the relationship between health and religion, have embarked on studies to prove whether religion improves health. It is, therefore, not surprising that the United States government, through its Health and Human Services Department, is making initiatives to support faith based organizations. These faith based organizations are thought to support health and well-being in communities (O'Mathuna 52). To answer the question of whether religion can improve health, I will analyze the various scientific findings that support this claim. To begin with, as in the earlier example, which tells of the steps the U.S government is taking in supporting faith based organizations, it is true to say that there is a wide belief that these organizations lead to health improvement in communities. Also, a poll that was conducted and published by Newsweek, in 2003, reported that some 84% of Americans believe that praying for the sick improves their chances of recovery, is another finding that supports these claims. (Kalb 17). Although the poll covered the Christian community, this can be said to be true for the other religions, since all share a common fact- they have faith in their Supreme Being and in their religion. Also, the fact that the poll rate was at 84%, we can conclude that prayers works for most of these believers. In my opinion also, prayer gives one confidence that there is someone carrying your burden of sickness and pain (God), and it reduces stress and depression, by reducing worry and anxiety. Another reason that supports this claim is the verses present in the Christian Bible that reveal the value of prayer. One good example is Malachi 4:2 which states that, "But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness with healing in its rays, will rise... ” Furthermore, Christians refer to Jesus Christ, whom they believe to be the Son of their God, as the “great physician,” and believe that praying to him for healing works. Bible stories, also cement this belief of healing from God (FBH). For example, it is written that: Jesus restored sight to a blind man, ...
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