Recently I received an email from an investment company out of the UK asking if I would be interested in sharing an article that they put together regarding an investigation that they have conducted on the financial gains of religious institutions. Of course after having read the article I thought it would be nice to share it with my readers as well.
The article takes a look at Scientology, Catholicism, Televangelism, Freemasonry, and The Church of England. It tops this all off with a short list of religious billionaires. When required it gives you a short history of the religious movement being examined, and then it goes into their reported earnings and scandals related to those earnings. They also provide hyperlinks within the text that will take you to their sources if you want to obtain a little bit more in depth information.
The following is an excerpt:
Established in 1952 as a successor to dianetics, the Church of Scientology has always been a controversial entity. It has been criticised for taking money from vulnerable people, and reports of suicide and financial ruin caused by the extortionate fees incured as a Thetan are not unheard of. Rumour of harassment and covert surveillance of its followers are also rife.
Number of followers: The Church of Scientology claims to have over 8 million followers worldwide and 3.5 million in the United States alone, but a 2008 survey showed that just 20,000 American individuals identified themselves as Scientologists.
Read more: http://www.money.co.uk/misc/the-business-of-religion.htm#ixzz1UmO3RuB9
Feel free to post your comments on this article and as always this topic is open to discussion from atheists and theists alike.