Sunday, August 13, 2006

Un-Churched Netherlands Does Most for the Poor

If a Center for Global Development (CGD) list reveals which countries care the most about the poor then the Netherlands is benevolent, while the United States is cold.

The list ranked countries based on a "Commitment Index" with the Netherlands coming out on top and Japan landing at the bottom. The United States gives the largest amount of money but the smallest when compared to the size of its economy.

The top five countries were Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and New Zealand.

What I find astonishing is that there is almost an exact correlation between the countries with the highest adjusted giving, and the lowest church attendance. This deconstructs what I was taught as a child that those who attend church lead more virtuous lives.

The Netherlands ranked first in giving and 47th in church attendance. 5% of Denmark and Norway attend church each week along with 4% of Sweden.

Other countries on the bottom five (and their church attendance) are Spain (25%), France (21%), Italy (45%), and Greece. Japan bucks the trend by being both low in giving and church attendance (4%).

The United States has the highest church attendance (44%) among comparably developed countries. God may indeed be blessing America, but we're not eagerly sharing it.

Statistics provided by

read more

digg story

No comments: