Year: 2021 Source: Religions. (2021). 12(10), 802. SIEC No: 20210823

Religious beliefs and practices have historically been intertwined with stigmatizing attitudes and responses to suicide, including stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Understanding the relationship between religion and suicide stigma requires identifying specific religious beliefs and practices about suicide and how these are informed by broader worldviews, such as ethics, anthropology, and afterlife beliefs. Yet, research in this area has been complicated by the complex multidimensional nature of stigma and the diversity of religious beliefs and practices, even within religious traditions. Moreover, contrary arguments about the role of religious views of suicide in suicide prevention, specifically whether religious stigma is protective or instead contributes to risk, have obscured the interpretation of findings. This paper aims to advance research on this topic by first summarizing pertinent empirical findings and theoretical perspectives on public and personal stigma towards people with suicidal ideation (PWSI), people with suicidal behavior (PWSB), and suicide loss survivors (SLS). Secondly, a culturally nuanced action research framework (ARF) of religious stigma towards suicide is provided to guide future research. According to this ARF, research should advance strategically by investigating associations of religious beliefs and practices with stigmatization, identifying empowering resources within particular religious traditions, supporting suicide prevention efforts, and developing effective interventions to support PWSI, PWSB, and SLS. Moreover, such research efforts ought to equip religious leaders, and healthcare professionals working with religious individuals, to reduce stigma towards suicide and further the goal of suicide prevention.