[From MMI Weblog by Todd Rhoades]
Only 5% of adults tithe, according to a new study by The Barna Group. Those most generous were evangelicals (24% of which tithe); conservatives (12%); people who have prayed or read their Bible in the last week (12%); Pentecostals (11%); and Republicans (10%). The least generous, according to Barna: those under 25, atheists and agnostics, single adults, liberals, and downscale adults. All of those groups gave 1% or less...
The percentage of adults who tithe has stayed constant since the turn of the decade, falling in the 5% to 7% range. The Barna tracking reported that the proportion of adults who tithed was 7% in 2006 and 2005; 5% in 2004 and 2003; 6% in 2002; and 5% in 2001.
In 2007, 84% of all adults donated some money to churches or non-profit organizations. That figure has also remained consistent in recent years.
The median amount of money donated during 2007 was $400; the mean amount was $1308. Those averages are higher than was revealed earlier in this decade, but represent a decline from the previous year. (The mean sum of donations per person in 2006 was $1348.)
The Barna study pointed out that one-third of all adults (34%) gave away $1000 or more during 2007. Nearly one-fifth (18%) had donated $100 or less.
Evangelicals Christians distinguished themselves in their generosity. More than four out of five (83%) gave at least $1000 to churches and non-profit entities during 2007, far surpassing the levels reached by any other population segment studied.
Almost two-thirds of the public (64%) donated some money to a church, synagogue or other place of worship. The median amount donated to those religious centers was $101; the mean amount was $883. Those figures were up slightly from the previous year.
In all, one-quarter of the people who gave any money to religious centers (25%) donated at least $1000. A whopping 96% of evangelicals gave money to a church in 2007; 81% of them donated at least $1000.
Christians tend to be the most generous group of donors. An examination of the three dominant subgroups within the Christian community showed that evangelicals, the 7% of the population who are most committed to the Christian faith, donated a mean of $4260 to all non-profit entities in 2007. Non-evangelical born again Christians, who represent another 37% of the public, donated a mean of $1581. The other 42% of the Christian population, who are aligned with a Christian church but are not born again, donated a mean of $865. Overall, the three segments of the Christian community averaged donations of $1426.
The Christian giving was divided between Protestants (mean of $1705) and Catholics ($984).
In contrast, Americans associated with non-Christian faiths gave away a mean of $905 during 2007. Atheists and agnostics provided
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