War and Religion
The team surveyed over 1,700 people in Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, and Uganda. Extensive civil wars in these countries had touched people’s lives to varying degrees and the conflicts chosen were non-religious so that a person’s piety wouldn’t predict the amount of violence they were exposed to. This natural experiment allowed the team to infer causation. Survey results showed a strong and consistent relationship between war exposure and religiosity. The more a person or their family was hurt by the war, the more likely that person was to attend religious services and participate in religious rituals afterwards.