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Congregations slowly recovering from the recession

The worst of the Great Recession seems to be over for American congregations, according to a recent report that found that 1 in 10 have begun to recover from their loss, and more than 40 percent are now stable or increasing financially.

The Holy Toll report, based on the 2010 Faith Communities Today national survey of more than 20 religious groups, found that more than half (57 percent) of U.S. congregations reported their income had declined due to the recession.

Researcher David A. Roozen of the Hartford [Conn.] Institute for Religion Research said larger congregations seem to be recovering more easily as endowments and investment income rebound, and as more members are able financially to help them grow their way out of deficits.

His theory echoes that of the State of the Plate report by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Christianity Today International's church management team, which found smaller churches had suffered a disproportionate drop in giving last year.


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