Religion is subjective and plays different roles for varying groups of people. Some individuals practice religion because of family traditions and others because of their strong belief in the afterlife. The difference in such factors leads to variations in how worshiping affects people’s lives. For African Americans, religion has had many implications in terms of well-being and mental health. This paper will provide an overview of the role of religion in African American communities.
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Since the year when Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas, Africans have struggled with racial injustice. They have gone through slavery and institutional discrimination and are now fighting to end racism. The church has played a significant role in uniting African Americans. Many individuals are faced with prejudice and discrimination developmental disorders. The church has been critical in assisting African Americans in need of support. For instance, Nguyen (2018) explores how church members have served as the intervention for addressing anxiety disorder among older African Americans. The researcher suggests that the church has been a resource for coping with stress (Nguyen, 2018). Other findings indicate that no direct relationship between religious practice and depressive symptoms exists (Chatters et al., 2018). However, there is an inverse relationship between church attendance and the presence of mental conditions.
Religion has been a place where African Americans could seek assistance when dealing with depression and other mental health issues. Continuous discrimination and racism have impacted their lives significantly, which forced them to find ways of uniting and helping each other. Religion has become a shared platform where African Americans could support their fellows and contribute to their communities. Today, the role of the church has expanded, but it continues to execute its historical functions.
Chatters, L. M., Nguyen, A. W., Taylor, R. J., & Hope, M. O. (2018). Church and family support networks and depressive symptoms among African Americans: Findings from the National Survey of American Life. Journal of Community Psychology, 46(4), 403-417.
Nguyen, A. W. (2018). African American elders, mental health, and the role of the church. Generations, 42(2), 61-67.