Objective: To examine the effect of religion on negative attitudes and beliefs about suicide. Methods: We use data from a large nationwide survey conducted in Hungary covering more than 3000 individuals. Suicide-related stigmas are captured with three Likert-type measures that we combine into an overall indicator. Religion is measured by denomination (Catholic vs. Protestant) and church attendance (at least weekly vs. never or less than weekly). We employ logistic regression and the SPSS statistical software. Results: People attending religious services frequently have greater odds of stigmatizing self-killing than those reporting no or infrequent attendance. Compared to Protestants, Catholics are significantly less condemning of suicide. The two measures of religion also work in tandem, with denomination modifying the impact of church attendance. In particular, while church attendance strongly increases the odds of negative attitudes among Catholics, it has practically no effect among Protestants. Discussion and Conclusions: The results presented are in keeping with our expectations and suggest that a social climate that stigmatizes suicide without providing for people a strong community network that pressures individuals toward conforming to fundamental moral principles can be especially harmful for mental health.
Moksony, F., & Hegedus, R. (2021). Religion and the Stigma of Suicide: A Quantitative Analysis Using Nationwide Survey Data from Hungary. Religions, 12(11), 908. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12110908