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Here’s another small data point in the discussion about whether religion is good for you:

Scientists have discovered that 86 per cent of water samples from holy sources contain faecal matter.
Austrian researchers also found that church fonts contain high levels of bacteria and that none of the holy springs they studied could be considered safe for drinking from.

Researchers at the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna took water samples from 21 holy springs in Austria, and from 18 fonts in Viennese churches. The results are, well, pretty shitty.

They found that in every millilitre of holy water there were up to 62 million bacteria. They also found that the busier the church, the more bacteria it tended to have in its font.
The study also revealed that holy springs contain not only faecal contamination with E coli bacteria and enterococci, but also Campylobacter, which can cause inflammatory diarrhoea.

I guess it still beats drinking sewage from the base of a Jesus statue, as these Indian believers eagerly did.
(Image via Shutterstock)

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