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Survey Reveals 1 in 10 Protestant Churches Deals with Donation Embezzlement

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Aug 07
  • Comments

A new survey has found that one in ten Protestant churches has dealt with embezzled church donations.

Christian Today reports that the survey of 1,000 pastors was conducted by Christian organization LifeWay Research. Although this statistic may come as a surprise to many church members, LifeWay Research executive director Scott McConnell said this is not surprising since volunteers handle the finances at most churches and churches are often not equipped like businesses to deal with everything that comes with handling money.

“Churches run on trust – but they also know people are imperfect and can be tempted,” said McConnell. “That's why safeguarding a church's finances is an important part of ministry.”

The survey also looked at what denominations are most likely to lose donations through embezzlement. Churches of Christ were most likely to have been victims of embezzlement (16 percent), while Baptist churches and Reformed Presbyterian churches were least likely (7 percent and 6 percent, respectively).

They survey also evaluated the overall financial state of churches. All in all, findings revealed that many churches are struggling financially and one in four would be out of reserve funds in just seven weeks if donations stopped coming in, although smaller churches were more likely to have extra funds in reserve.


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Publication date: August 7 2017