While support of international missions appears to strengthen religious denominations, such funding has dropped over the last 80 years, a new report says.
In 2003, denominations spent an average of 2 cents of every dollar donated by congregations on international mission projects, down from 7 cents in the 1920s, the report says.
Empty Tomb, a Christian nonprofit research group based in Champaign, Ill., surveyed 28 denominations representing about 146,000 congregations for its State of Church Giving report.
Half the denominations surveyed lost membership between 1968 and 2003, the report says.
Growing denominations showed a higher level of support for international missions at 2.8 percent of donated dollars, and shrinking groups showed lower-than-average support of less than 1 percent.
Americans donated 1.12 percent of their income to charity in 2003, with more than seven in 10 of those dollars going to religious organizations, the report says.
Source: Philanthropy Journal