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If you’re more spiritual, you’re more likely to do this

A new study suggests Americans who are highly spiritual are more likely to work to make a difference in the world

In this file photo from Sept. 9, 2020, people attending an event with Vice President Mike Pence, pray before he took the stage to speak to Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, at Cornerstone Ministries church, in Export, Pa. a Pittsburgh suburb.
People attending an event with Vice President Mike Pence pray before he took the stage to speak to Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, at Cornerstone Ministries church, in Export, Pa. a Pittsburgh suburb, on Sept. 9, 2020,
Alexandra Wimley, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

A new study suggests those who believe they are more spiritual are more likely to make a difference in their local communities.

The study — called “What Does Spirituality Mean to Us?” and funded by the Fetzer Institute — found those who connect with a higher power are more likely to be active in their community by volunteering, donating and voting.

But the study still shows how spirituality impacts everyday American life.

“What the Fetzer study has uncovered is how much people are talking about connection when they talk about spirituality — connection between the inner and outer world and with others in community,” Omar M. McRoberts, a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago and an adviser to the study, told Religion News Service. “Spirituality is not a solipsistic endeavor where it’s just about individual experience or elevation.”

“The more someone is spiritual, the more they aspire to be spiritual,” Fetzer Institute program director Gillian Gonda told Religion News Service “It seems to be a never-ending search and journey that deepens for people over time.”

The study also found:

  • Forty-five percent of respondents said spirituality impacted political views.
  • Thirty-six percent said spirituality influence their political actions.
  • Forty-one percent said spirituality led them to hold politicians accountable.

The study took place before the coronavirus pandemic, which “could have a seismic impact on American spirituality in a way that won’t become clear for a few years,” according to Relevant magazine.