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Does Faking Religion Lead to Depression?

At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump called the United States a “nation of believers.” The highly Christian language of his speech—focused on the Bible and being “created in Jesus Christ”—underscored for some the president’s focus on Christian nationalism and the exclusionary nature of his vision for America.

Of course, there can be real problems when a nation circumscribes who belongs and who doesn’t by whether they are people of faith. That type of social duress can be culturally and personally unhealthy. In fact, according to a recent study in the journal, Society and Mental Health, individuals who consider leaving a faith, but do not, tend to experience more depression than those who decide to leave.

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