Survival of the Fittest Church

| 12/2/2008 11:23:58 PM

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Religious institutions are far from immune to the woes of recession. Recent articles for the Boston Globe and Ethics Daily report that many churches and religious organizations are already feeling the downturn squeeze. And as the Globe points out, widespread financial crises are particularly tricky for the faithful:

For religious organizations, the nation's economic woes hit twice. The faith groups rely for income on sources vulnerable to a downturn - contributions from individuals, income from investments, and, in the case of faith-based social service organizations, funding from government. But the faith groups also aspire to assist the hungry and homeless and unemployed, meaning that during a recession their expenses go up even as their revenue may go down.

For Ethics Daily, Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics predicts a Darwin-esque future for religion, which he thinks could profoundly affect our belief landscape:

A deeper and prolonged financial crisis will likely result in a survival-of-the-fittest scenario among local and national faith organizations, which, in turn, will reshape the religious ethos for years to come.

(Thanks, Religion Blog.)

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