While previous studies have linked religiosity with happiness, a new survey by researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison claims the reason the devout are more satisfied with their lives than non-believers is because of the friendships they form within their religious communities.

The study surveyed more than 3,000 American adults questions pertaining to their religious activities and social networks. Researchers found that the reason religious people so happy had nothing to do with the strength of their faith or how much they pray. Instead, their increased satisfaction on life seemed to be solely based on how many friends they've made through their congregation.

And here we thought that religious people were happier people because of God! Who knew that it was all just a big popularity contest in the first place?

via Livescience