A new study has found that lonely religious people feel less isolated than lonely atheists because God substitutes as a friend.
New research by psychologists at the University of Michigan show that, among those who do feel lonely, those who believe in a religion are less likely to lose the will to live because their faith fills that void.
Doctoral student Todd Chan, lead author of the study says, God comes to be seen quite literally as a friend.
However, religion was still hardly enough to replace all the qualities that come from human interaction.
For Mr Chan’s research each person was surveyed on their friendships, religious beliefs, feelings of loneliness and sense of purpose.
Co-author of the study, Oscar Ybarra says, the results certainly don’t suggest that people can or should rely on God over people for purpose.