The research, published in the journal Current Biology, found that children from religious families were less likely to share with other kids and more likely to support harsher punishments than their non-religious counterparts.

This contradicts the traditional assumption that a religious upbringing makes children less selfish and more kindhearted towards others, reports quoted the study as saying.

The study looked at 1,170 children or varying ages, with around 43 percent identified as Muslim, 24 percent Christian and 28 percent non-religious.

The children took part in a task where they were asked to decide how many stickers they would like to share with an anonymous individual from the same school and of a similar ethnic group.

Those who came from non-religious families were significantly more willing to share, the study says.

The generosity of non-religious children was less, with little difference in the results between Christians and Muslims, but it was shown to increase with age.

He said, "This view is unfortunately so deeply embedded that individuals who are not religious can be considered morally suspect”.

The children in the study were aged between five and 12 and came from the US, Canada, Jordan, Turkey, South Africa and China.

Latest News from Lifestyle News Desk