Research has concluded that religion can help adherents live up to 14 years longer.
The study by Doctors Alex Bunn and David Randall from the Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF), of more than 21,000 Americans, showed that black American men who believed in God lived 14 years longer on average than the ones who did not.
However, the paper does not argue that this is because believers have divine protection. Instead, it said those with faith tend to live healthier lifestyles, are less likely to drink or smoke too much, take drugs or be sexually promiscuous.
Reverend Ewan Aitken of the Church of Scotland's Church and Society said the paper's conclusions underlined the fact that religious experience is positive.
"If it is seen in terms of attitudes to life in general and how we deal with difficulties then I think there is a clear connection between faith and good health," the Scotsman quoted Ewan Aitken as saying.