Belief in Hell Predicts a Country's Crime Rates More Accurately Than Other Social or Economic Factors
Religion is often thought of as psychological defense against bad behavior, but researchers have recently found that the effect of religion on pro-social behaviors may actually be driven by the belief in hell and supernatural punishment rather than faith in heaven and spiritual benevolence.
In a large analysis of 26 years of data consisting of 143,197 people in 67 countries, psychologists found significantly lower crime rates in societies where many people believe in hell compared to those where more people believed in heaven.
"The key finding is that, controlling for each other, a nation's rate of belief in hell predicts lower crime rates, but the nation's rate of belief in heaven predicts higher crime rates, and these are strong effects," lead author Azim Shariff, professor of psychology and director of the Culture and Morality Lab at the University of Oregon said in a university news release....
Societies that have works salvation, especially Catholic and Islamic ones are always going to have a high crime rate, however, because the members of those societies think they can buy off God at a later time.