Religious involvement can benefit health by providing social and/or psychological resources for coping with strain. But it can have the opposite effect under certain conditions, such as feeling abandoned by God or belonging to a tradition that discourages medical care. Here, I consider whether religion buffers the stigma‐related health risks of prior incarceration, and whether racial–ethnic status moderates the relationship. Using panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79), I regressed count measures of physical and mental health at midlife on religious attendance, and prior incarceration by racial‐ethnic group. While religious attendance correlated inversely with mental health issues, results provide no evidence that religion buffers the positive associations between incarceration and health issues. Religious attendance was unrelated to health among formerly incarcerated African Americans and Hispanics and strongly related to worse health among formerly incarcerated whites, suggesting additional stigmatization in their religious communities because of their criminal history.