Religious help poor with record giving

Author: John Monczunski

U.S. religious congregations, regardless of denomination, are supporting relief and development efforts in poor countries with record amounts of money, according to a recent survey conducted jointly by Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity (CGP)

The random sample survey, which was part of a larger study funded by the John Templeton Foundation, revealed that U.S. religious congregations, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu, gave some $8.8 billion in aid to the developing world in 2006. An earlier CGP survey based on more limited data had reported religious giving at $5.4 billion

David A. Sikkink, associate professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society, says that the study found Catholics tend to contribute more to U.S.-based aid agencies whereas Protestant groups, particularly conservative Protestant churches, were more likely to work directly with overseas programs.