It’s not uncommon to hear people claim religion is bad for society.
Of course, many disagree for all kinds of reasons. But one might surprise you.
The Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion recently published results of a study on the economic impact of religion on America—which is the first of its kind.
The study, “The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis” looked at the economic impact of the social programs of 344,000 religious congregations around the country, in addition to quantifying the economic impact of religious institutions and religion-related businesses.
They valued the total economic contribution of religion in America at almost $1.2 trillion.
Here’s a little perspective on what that means: Religion in America, according to this study, produces an economic value equal to the world’s 15th largest economy. That’s more than Apple, Google and Amazon—combined.