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Churchgoing, altruism linked

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Americans who attend church perform more acts of kindness than people who do not go to church, a new study says.

Weekly churchgoers report performing an average of 128 acts of kindness, while non-churchgoers say they perform an average of 96 acts.

The study by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago surveyed over 1,300 people about acts such as donating to charity, volunteering, giving a seat to a stranger, helping someone find a job, and talking with someone who is depressed.

The study’s author, Tom W. Smith, had expected that people who were more socially involved or backed social programs would be more altruistic, but found that those attitudes made little difference.

The study found that the number of kind acts that people perform is directly related to the number of times people attend church, regardless of religious affiliation.

“For most religions, an important part of the belief system is an admonition to love other people and to do good deeds,” Smith said in a news release. “The people who attend weekly service hear that quite a lot.”

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