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$1.2 trillion dollars — the national “Halo Effect” of faith-based organizations

The effect of religion isn’t only intangible. It’s measurable too.

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In a country where we too often hear about what divides us, it might be time to talk about what unites and supports us.

There are many religions and denominations in the United States: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhs—each with their own congregations, charities, schools, and businesses.

Together, they make a combined contribution of $1.2 trillion dollars to the American economy and society every year, says Brian Grim of Faith Counts, non-denominational group that has commissioned research to put a dollar figure of all the social service activities of congregaitons and ministries in the United States.


Brian Grim, formerly of The PEW Center, presented earlier this year in Chicago the results of the "Halo Effect" study.


1.2 trillion is a big number, so let's put it in context:

This exceeds the revenue of the top 10 tech companies including Apple, Google, and Amazon combined.

If we put this in terms of GDP, it would be the 15th largest national economy in the world.

But why should you care about any of this?

There are about 344,000 congregations across the nation. And they serve a myriad of purposes.

They are houses of worship, but they are also the nucleus of many communities:

They are centers for education, job training, charity, childcare, and social events, employing hundreds of thousands of people, creating jobs and spending billions on goods and services which support local businesses.

They fund over 1.5 million social programs, and gather more than 7.5 million volunteers.

The effect of religion isn't only intangible. It's measurable too.


For more details of the "Halo Effect" studies see Faith Counts

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