STORRS, Conn. It's a number that is trumpeted from the rooftops and the pulpit: Half of marriages among Christians and non-Christians alike end in divorce.
But the reality is that Christians who attend church regularly get divorced at a much lower rate.
Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, found that among people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, 60 percent have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced.
W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading sociologist at the University of Virginia and director of the National Marriage Project, found a nearly identical spread between "active conservative Protestants" who regularly attend church and people with no religious affiliation.
Professor Scott Stanley from the University of Denver, who is working on the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, said couples with a vibrant religious faith have more and higher levels of the qualities that marriages need to avoid divorce.
"Whether young or old, male or female, low-income or not, those who said that they were more religious reported higher average levels of commitment to their partners, higher levels of marital satisfaction, less thinking and talking about divorce and lower levels of negative interaction," he said. "These patterns held true when controlling for such important variables as income, education and age at first marriage."