‘There’s a growing belief that religion is not a positive for American society’ – How the Church impacts the US




A new report revealed exactly how faith and religion impact the United States – and you won’t believe what researchers found.

According to a report published at Faith Counts, the “growing belief that religion doesn’t contribute to American society” is false.

We all know how great the impact of the Church makes in cities around the world.

The Church feeds the hungry, offers clothing to the poor and shares freely the Word of God.

But what else does the Church do?

The study revealed religious institutions across the United States contribute a combined $1.2 trillion to the economy and society.

These figures include the cost of staff, utilities, rent, philanthropic programs, educational institutions and healthcare services.

In fact, it was revealed – though believers have known for centuries – “Congregations, faith-based businesses, institutions and faith-based charities strengthen our economy, build communities and families and lift people up in times of need in a way that no other institution or government does.”

In a 4-minute video titled “Faith by the Numbers: The Socio-economic Impact of Religion in the U.S.,” Georgetown University’s Brian Grim, Ph.D. stated: “In a country where we too often hear about what divides us, it might be time to talk about what unites us and supports us.”

He speaks of the different religious organizations responsible for contributing $1.2 trillion annually in the United States.

If religious organizations were its own economy, it would be the fifth largest in the world.

“The leaders, members and volunteers of these congregations go out every single day to serve the vulnerable among us – not for money or recognition – they serve because of their faith.

“‘Love of neighbor’ is a central tenant of every major world religion and this core belief reverberates far beyond the doors of an individual congregation – it impacts people all across our country.”

The video continues, breaking down exactly how the world’s major religions help keep the American economy going and how they also help the downtrodden, broken and healing.

Dr. Grim added: “Whether directly or indirectly, whether we realize it or not, religion’s influence positively impacts all of us in substantial and measurable ways and there’s nothing divisive about that.”


 





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3 comments

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Ah yes, we can certainly depend on an organization called “faithcounts” to be unbiased! I’d like to know how taxes figures into this study, given that these religious organizations enjoy a competitive advantage over sectarian businesses, given the tax breaks they enjoy. I perused the report, and it’s unclear where these numbers all come from and how they are determined.
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    If I’m interpreting the report correctly, it says the total amount of income generated across 344,894 congregations was about $84 billion, plus income from donations, dues, etc. of $75 billion, for a total of about $1.6 trillion. In 2012, the report says that about $9 billion was spent on social programs. That’s $9 billion out of $1.6 trillion. If my math is correct, that’s .06% of the money generated that went to social programs. Is that really something to brag about? I hope I made a math mistake, because that is pathetic.
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    It seems that the author is saying that religion contributes to America because it produces revenue – but so does the illegal drug trade to the tune of $100 Billion per year. The gun industry does about $43 Billion. The author is essentially claiming that the religious industry is larger than the defense industry ($500 Billion), which seems rather surprising, and worrisome. Just how much power does religion have in our country? The author sees this as good – I see it as worrisome, that people who believe in imaginary invisible beings that live in the sky have so much control.
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    Something isn’t right here. I’d like to see a critical review of this report by an unbiased researcher.

  2. Tom Rafferty Reply

    No question that religious organizations can and do do good. Also, I have no problem giving them, as well as other non-profit charities, a tax break for such good works (BUT, not the other non-charity functions). However, there is nothing good that churches do that requires religion.

  3. Peter Aiello Reply

    Is the economic impact of religion its most important contribution? You would think so by the tone of this article.

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