Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Campaign to promote religion launched

A CAMPAIGN promoting religion was launched in Dublin yesterday.

Organised to coincide with Easter by the Iona Institute, it promotes the place of marriage and religion in society.

It will run for two weeks in Dublin city where the slogan "Here’s a little science, The practice of religion is good for you" will appear in 110 bus shelters.

The campaign quotes positive findings of scientific research into the role of religious belief and practice in the areas of mental health and social science from work by psychiatrist and Iona Institute patron Prof Patricia Casey.

The research was commissioned and published by the Iona Institute last year under the title The Psycho-Social Benefits of Religious Practice.

In particular the campaign emphasises findings that being actively engaged in religious participation is physically and psychologically beneficial for people.

People will also be directed to check findings at the website.

Iona Institute director David Quinn said that “nothing like it has ever taken place in Ireland, or anywhere else that we know of. Its aim is to present a positive image of religion”.

He added: “Religion has a very negative image at present. The campaign was first conceived four years ago when books like The God Delusion were best-sellers. We wanted to counter this negativity by pointing to the evidence that, on the whole, religious practice is beneficial both for individuals and for society.”

He emphasised the non-denominational nature of the campaign. Its message was “not specific to any one denomination, or even any one religion. It is a generic message and applies to all the mainstream religions”, he said.

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