Monday, October 13, 2008

Poll finds very religious are good to others

Jim Wallis has done more than anyone else to bring to worldwide attention the fact that there are many more things than abortion and gay marriage that most Christians care passionately about: poverty, social justice, education, peace. Gallup conducted polls in 140 countries worldwide that asked three questions: Have you given to charity; have you volunteered your time; and have you helped a stranger? In each case, those who identified themselves as "highly religious" responded "yes" more often than those who are less religious.

Gallup concludes:

"The "religion effects" we see in these questions are consistent not only across the major global regions, but also consistent across the world's largest faith traditions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. Among respondents who identified with each of these major religions, those who fall into the highly religious category are more likely than those who are less religious to say they've engaged in all three helping behaviors, with differences for helping a stranger ranging from 7 percentage points among Buddhists to 15 points among Jews."

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