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Religious Americans participate in charitable or volunteer organizations twice as much as do secular Americans. So says existing research. But a new study suggests that it's not people's religion that prompts them to become model volunteers, ...

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Steve Skeete

April 26, 2013  10:35am

Interesting! I believe if you ask the same or similar question outside of the USA you would probably get a totally different answer. My observation, from my location, is that charitable or volunteer work is ostensibly Church driven, and primarily evangelical led. Even for secular organisations involved in "humanitarian" activities, one finds most members who are not Christians will often describe themselves as "Christian-minded", religious, or "God-fearing". The reason for this is that Church goers are encouraged to believe that "it is more blessed to give..." Most understand this to mean not only giving to the Church as an institution, but to meet individual needs in the community. Volunteerism, and charity properly administered, are undoubtedly, of great benefit to any society.

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Tony Gill

April 24, 2013  1:45pm

This is fascinating research. I heard an in-depth interview with Prof. den Dulk at the Research on Religion podcast last year. education-and-civic-engagement

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