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Monthly Archives: September 2016

America’s $1.2 Trillion Religious Economy Makes National & International News

24 Sep, 2016

by Brian J. Grim

It’s not often that an academic report changes the conversation about religion in America, but one just did. Georgetown [University’s] Brian Grim and Melissa Grim of the Newseum Institute have unveiled their groundbreaking Faith Counts study: “The Socio-economic Contributions of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis.

The links below take you to some of this new conversation about religion in America. Some stories, such as the one from UK’s The Guardian, have been shared 19,135 times (by comparison, the paper’s headline story announcing Trump’s election as U.S. president was shared 17,153 times). Other original reporting on the research has reached millions of listeners, such as WNYU’s The Takeaway). 

And, more than a month after the study’s release, it still is making news, being featured in a nationwide Fox Business News report:

Below is the video featured in What’s US religion worth? $1.2 trillion, says one demographer (Religion News Service | Lauren Markoe):

National & International Media

Study: Religion contributes more to the US economy than Facebook, Google and Apple combined (Washington Post: online & print editions | Julie Zauzmer)

Could Religion’s Decline Spell Damnation for the U.S. Economy? As America loses its faith, the domestic economy could pay the price (U.S. News & World Report | Andrew Soergel, Economy Reporter)

Religion in US ‘worth more than Google and Apple combined’ Faith economy worth $1.2tn a year – more than combined revenues of 10 biggest tech firms in America, study shows (The Guardian | Harriet Sherwood)

wnyc-priLISTEN: Report: Faith Economy Worth $1.2 Trillion Per Year (WNYC | John Hockenberry interviews Brian Grim)

The Takeaway, hosted by John Hockenberry, is a national morning radio show broadcast with Public Radio International and WNYC, with The New York Times and WGBH Boston, that reaches more than 2 million regular listeners across 280 stations across the US. The Takeaway interview occurred as President Obama and world leaders gathered at the United Nations for the annual General Assembly. Prior to the interview, Brian Grim was a featured attendee and led a discussion on business and peacemaking at the UN Private Sector Forum, keynoted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and actor Ewan McGregor.

Listen: Religion is worth $1.2 Trillion to the US Economy – Interview with Brian Grim @ 26:50 (BBC World Service | Newshour with Tim Franks)

New Study Values Faith In America Over One Trillion Dollars (Yahoo News | PRNewswire-USNewswire)

Faith-Based Groups and Companies Drive $1.2 Trillion in Impact, Says Study (The Chronicle of Philanthropy | Heather Joslyn)

Report Shows That Religion is Big Business (Small Business Trends | Annie Pilon)

Religion in the United States is worth more than Apple, Google and Amazon COMBINED – with a revenue of $1.2trillion a year (Daily Mail, UK | Clemence Michallon)

Religion contributes more to the US economy than many giant corporations (Business Day, Stuff New Zealand | Julie Zauzmer)


WATCH: New Academic Study Reveals Religion in the U.S. Is Worth $1.2 Trillion (Al Jazeera TV | World News)

Study: Religion Has $1.2 Trillion Impact on U.S. Economy Each Year (The Blaze | Kate Scanlon)

Economic impact of religion: New report says it’s worth more than Google, Apple and Amazon combined (Deseret News | Kelsey Dallas)

Faith-based groups contribute enormously to American society and the U.S. economy (National Review | Alexandra Desanctis)

Faith Economy: The 1.2 Trillion Economies Explained (FX News Business | Neha Gupta)

Religion a Major Driver of the National Economy (Non Profit Quarterly, NPQ | Jim Schaffer)

New study shows religion is an active force in the lives of many in the U.S. (Carib Press, Beverly Hills, CA | Staff Writer)

Religion Is Worth A LOT To The Economy (Newsy | Ryan Biek, including video)

Study: Religion contributes more to the economy than many giant corporations (Post article syndicated to newspapers and media nationwide, with additional reporting by Nathan Van Dyne of the Pulitzer Prize Winning Colorado Springs Gazette)

US religion is worth $1.2T/year, more than America’s 10 biggest tech companies, combined (Boing, Boing |Cory Doctorow)

Georgetown Study: Religion Worth $1.2 Trillion in U.S. Economy, More Than Google and Apple Combined (CNS News | Lauretta Brown)

Study puts monetary value on good works done by U.S. religious organizations (Richmond Free Press | RNS)

American Religion: The 15th Largest Economy in the World (The Atheist Republic | Dean Lawrence)

Holy Rolling in It (The Humanist | Patrick Hudson)

Religion in US worth more than Google, Apple combined $1.2 trillion per year – the number that US religion makes per year, more than the 10 biggest tech companies combined (TweakTown | Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal News)

Faith by the Numbers: The Socio-economic Value of Religion in the U.S. (RealClearReligion | Latest Religion Videos)

US Religion Worth $1.2 Trillion (PBS | Religion & Ethics)

Religion in U.S. worth $1.2 trillion a year (, The Times-Picayune | Kim Chatelain)

Study: Religion Has $1.2 Trillion Impact on U.S. Economy Each Year (Crazy Hot News | News Bundler)

Faith-based Media

How Religious Groups Make Economic Contributions to the U.S. (EWTN | Brian Patrick’s interview of Brian Grim).

Religion Boosts US Economy More Than Apple, Amazon, and Google Combined: Study offers best estimate yet of the ‘value of faith’ in America: $1.2 trillion (Christianity Today | Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, also on Ave Maria Radio)

Study finds that religion contributes $1.2 trillion to US economy (Crux | Christopher White)

Don’t Underestimate Religion’s Economic Gifts (National Catholic Register | The Editors)

Religion is big business in the US; adds ‘$1.2 trillion’ to the economy (Ecumenical News | Peter Kenny)

Religion in US Worth $1.2 Trillion to Economy (Newsroom, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | Tracie Cayford Cudworth)

Religion’s economic impact (Patheos | Gene Veith)

Study puts dollar value of organized religion in the U.S. at $1.2 trillion (Catholic News Service, and in The Catholic Weekly | Rhina Guidos)

In our opinion: Religious stock on the rise (Deseret News | Editorial)

How much economic value does religion provide America? (Acton Institute | Joe Carter; also in the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Souther Baptist Convention)


Economic Value of Religion: Interview with Brian Grim (Matt Townsend Show, BYU Radio, SiriusXM radio) Nov. 2, 2016

Dr. Brian Grim is president president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and an Associate Scholar at Georgetown University. He is a leading expert on the socioeconomic impact of restrictions on religious freedom and international religious demography. Earlier this month, 17 faith leaders from around America sent a letter to President Obama rejecting the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ report on religious freedom.   The Commission’s chairman questioned the societal worth of religious freedom, calling it a hypocritical code for discrimination, intolerance and racism.  But, what is the monetary worth of US religion?  The estimated annual worth of US religion is at $1.2 trillion and could be considered the 15th largest economy in the world.  Brian Grim explains the Value of Religion in America.

Religion Contributes $1.2 Trillion to US Economy, More Than Top 10 Tech Companies Combined, Study Finds (Christian Post | Brandon Showalter)

New Study Shows Religion is Good for the Economy (Focus on the Family | Jim Daly)

Apple, Google & Facebook combined have less economic impact than religious charities, churches (ChristianExaminer | Gregory Tomlin)

Religion, the Great Economic Engine: MORE PROOF FAITH IS GOOD FOR AMERICA (BreakPoint | John Stonestreet, President, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview)

President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, Dr. Brian Grim, joins Tony to discuss his recent study on the socio-economic value of religion to American society (Washington Watch | Tony Perkins)

Study Gives Charities a Faith Lift (FRC Action | Senior Writers)

Religion in the US is worth $1.2 trillion, new study shows (Christian Today | Mark Woods)

Religion’s Economic Contribution (Point of View | Penna Dexter)

Religion Supporting US Economy by Generating More Revenue Than Apple, Google, and Amazon Combined, Says Study (Christianity Daily | Staff Reporter)

Faith in America has $1.2 trillion impact (The Wesleyan Church | Brian Grim, Melissa Grim and Kerry Troup)

A study estimates the “economic value” of religion in USA Authors of the study stated that religion is worth $1.2 trillion to the US economy. “Religion provides purpose-driven institutional and economic contributions to society.” (Evangelical Focus | Staff Reporter)

Religion is Good for Society … We Think (Dead Reckoning Radio | Jay Friesen, Hadley Heath, and Dr. Brian G. Mattso)

That Faith Counts study: Religion is bigger than Facebook, Google and Apple combined (Get Religion | Julia Duin)

New Study Claims Religious Organizations in the U.S. Make More Money Than Apple and Microsoft Combined (Church Leaders | Megan Briggs)

Covering Religion as More Than the Radical Fringe (Context | Prof. John G. Stackhouse Jr.)

‘There’s a growing belief that religion is not a positive for American society’ – How the Church impacts the US: A new report revealed exactly how faith and religion impact the United States – and you won’t believe what researchers found (Catholic Online | Kenya Sinclair)

Other National & International Media


Как “деньги веры” создают экономику США [How “Faith Money” is generated by the USA Economy] (LIFE | Екатерина Коростиченко)

Best Business: Organized religion rakes in more money than Apple and Google combined (Macedonian International News Agency)

Religion in US ‘Worth more than Google, Apple combined (The Herald, Zimbabwe)

New Study Values Faith In America Over One Trillion Dollars (Newsroom America | Staff Reporter)

Faith economy in US worth $1.2 trillion a year (The News International – Pakistan | Top Story)

Religion Contributes $1.2 Trillion Each Year to US Economy (Pakistan Christian Post | Nick Pitts)

Religion makes more money in the US than Apple, Facebook, Google combined (CIOL, India |TECH BUZZ Staff Writers)

La religión aporta más a la economía de EE.UU. que Facebook, Google y Apple juntos Investigación señala que la fe aporta un total de 1,1 billones de euros al año. (RPP, Lima, Peru)

Religieuze instellingen dragen meer bij aan economie dan Google, Apple en Facebook (CVANDAAG, Netherlands)

Religie is big business in Amerika (Nederlands Dagblad | Gerard ter Horst)

Aux Etats-Unis, la religion stimule l’économie plus que Google, Apple et Amazon réunis (Saphir News, France – Muslim News | Ben Hanan Rhouma and Samba Doucoure)

Etats-Unis: Les religions génèrent mille milliards de dollars pour l’économie (Evangeliques Point Infor, France)

Religion bleibt Milliarden-Geschäft in den USA Gesundheitsindustrie, Schulen und Kongregationen leisten Beitrag (Pressetext, Austria | Marie-Thérèse Fleischer)

Nghiên cứu mới: Tôn giáo góp phần vào kinh tế Hoa Kỳ nhiều hơn Facebook, Google và Apple cộng lại (VietCatholic News, Vietnam | Vũ Văn An)

New study values faith in America at over one trillion dollars

14 Sep, 2016

–First-ever national research highlighting the impact of religion on U.S. economy–

National Press Club, Washington, D.C. — In a panel today, Dr. Brian Grim and Melissa Grim, J.D., unveiled their groundbreaking new study: “The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis.” The first-of-its-kind study analyzed the economic impact of 344,000 religious congregations around the country, in addition to quantifying the economic impact of religious institutions and religion-related businesses. Through this study, Dr. Grim found the total economic contribution of religion in America to be nearly $1.2 trillion, equal to the world’s 15th largest economy.


Dr. Grim presented his research at a panel event at the National Press Club. The panel included Dr. William Galston, Senior Fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program, and Dr. Ram Cnaan, Professor and Program Director of the Program for Religion and Social Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

“For the first time, we have been able to quantify what religious institutions, faith-based charities, and even businesses inspired by faith contribute to our country,” said Dr. Grim. He continued: “In an age where there’s a growing belief that religion is not a positive for American society, adding up the numbers is a tangible reminder of the impact of religion. Every single day individuals and organizations of faith quietly serve their communities as part of religious congregations, faith-based charities, and businesses inspired by religion.”

Despite prolonged economic hardship in many communities, the amount of money spent annually by religious congregations on social programs has tripled in the past 15 years. Some examples of the social issues addressed by these congregations and religiously-oriented charity groups include:

  • Alcohol and drug abuse recovery—130,000 programs
  • Veteran and veterans’ families support—94,000 programs
  • Prevention or support for people with HIV/AIDS—26,000 programs
  • Support or skills training for unemployed adults—121,000 programs

Operating alongside these charity groups and religious institutions sit faith-based and inspired businesses, which employ people in every field and industry. This fills the marketplace with goods and services used by people of all faiths, plus those with no faith at all.  At the same time, religious schools educate millions of students from pre-K to the post-graduate level.

The study is sponsored in part by Faith Counts, a multi-faith campaign aimed at promoting the value of faith.  Kerry Troup, spokeswoman for Faith Counts, states, “From our work with diverse faith communities across the U.S., we know that despite differences among individual religions, there are many more things that bring us together. This study shows that faith is still a cornerstone of our economy and society, and we’re actively working together to celebrate and promote its value.”

For more information, including the full study and a video summary of the research, please visit

About Faith Counts

Faith Counts is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization comprised of many religious communities who represent nearly 80 million Americans.  The mission of Faith Counts is simple:  to promote the value of faith.  The centerpiece of Faith Counts is a social media campaign that tells powerful stories about how faith counts—how it inspires, empowers, motivates, and comforts billions of people.

Faith Counts Partners include a diverse faith community including: Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Hillel International, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the 1st Amendment Partnership, and Franciscan University of Steubenville and the Orthodox Union.  All faith groups are welcome.

Data from: “The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis”, a 2016 study by Brian J. Grim (Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project) and Melissa E. Grim (Newseum Institute’s Religious Freedom Center), published in the peer-reviewed journal, Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, Volume 12, Article 3.

For Immediate Release
September 14, 2016
Noon EDT

Media Contact:
Kerry Troup
202-679-2702 (m)
202-715-3489 (o)


International business leaders gather for inaugural Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards

8 Sep, 2016

awardeesRIO DE JANEIRO — Seven business men and women from around the world were honored Tuesday for their work in interfaith relations, including three Americans. All of the leaders were recognized for using their businesses to bridge cultural and religious divides.

Winners of the first-ever Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards were awarded with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in a ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 6, a day before the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games here.

The awards were presented by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit, in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact’s Business for Peace Initiative and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. The foundation helps educate the global business community about how religious freedom is good for business and how they can promote respect for freedom of religion or belief.

“These business leaders show the value of religious freedom – it sets people of faith free to do good motivated by their deepest and most innovative ideals,” said Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation.

Winners come from a variety of religious backgrounds and manage companies and enterprises in the U.S., Indonesia, Mozambique, Uganda, Brazil, Lebanon and Iraq.

“The religious, geographic and business-type diversity of these business leaders shows that the values of interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace have universal appeal,” Grim went on to say.

H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and one of the judges of the event, noted that “this award recognizes those who have taken an initiative to use their business as a platform for promoting positive change and tolerance in our society. I would like to take a moment to thank Brian Grim, the President of Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF), who pioneered this award initiative. By implementing SDG 17, Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, RFBF is collaborating with Global Compact and the UNAOC in acknowledging these distinct business leaders at the international level (Read the High Representative’s full comments).

The sole Gold Medal went to Indonesian businessman Y.W. Junardy, President Commissioner, PT Rajawali Corpora, for his facilitation of thousands of marriages for poor Indonesians of all faiths, providing their families with the legal status necessary to advance in Indonesian society.

A Silver Medal was awarded to Don Larson, founder and CEO of Sunshine Nut Company in Mozambique, who works across faith and cultural lines to revive the country’s cashew business.

Brittany Underwood, founder and president of AKOLA in Texas, U.S., and Uganda, tied for a Silver Medal. Underwood promotes gender equality and religious freedom by employing Ugandan women to create fashion jewelry. Underwood also created a Dallas-based organization that employs women who have survived human trafficking.

Four Bronze Medals were awarded. One went to Jonathan Berezovsky, CEO of Migraflix in Brazil, who helps immigrants and refugees integrate into Brazil through facilitating cultural exchanges between them and the local community.

Fouad Makhzoumi, the CEO of Future Pipe Industries Group Ltd., in the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, promotes religious freedom through microcredit and vocational training to help over 10,000 Lebanese of all faiths set up sustainable businesses.

H. Bruce McEver, co-founder and chairman of Berkshire Capital Securities LLC in New York London, has a foundation which works to cultivate inter-religious understanding through the promotion of religious literacy.

Emma Nicholson, Baroness of Winterbourne, executive chairman of the Iraq Britain Business council and founder and chairman of AMAR Foundation in the U.K. and Iraq, works to build business, technology, trade and investment in Iraq, with a special focus on women of religious minorities, such as Yazidis.

Grim said the finalists, who include Christians, Jews, Muslims and the religiously unaffiliated, exemplify the mission of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation – to show that religious freedom is vital to a fertile business climate.

Other finalists for the awards recognized during the ceremony were Jonathan Shen Jian, CEO, Shinework Media, China, whose films promote global cultural diversity and interfaith understanding in China’s media market of one billion people through his film work. Tayyibah Taylor, CEO and founder, Azizah Magazine and WOW Publishing, Inc., Georgia, U.S., who died in 2014, used her magazine to help Muslim women and people of other faiths better understand Islam. Her daughter Mariam accepted the award in her honor. And Joaquim Augusto Sanches Pereira, Regional Business Leader at Dresser-Rand, a Siemens Business, works with the Vaga Lume initiative, promoting peace and cultural diversity through literary programs for children, teenagers and adults in the multicultural and diverse Amazon region.

The jury for the award was comprised of a small group of high-level experts, including from the United Nations: H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations; from the religious freedom community: Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice, and a former head of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom; and from the business and peace community: Per L. Saxegaard, Business CEO, and Founder and Executive Chairman of the Business for Peace Foundation, Oslo, Norway.

For more information on each winner and their global mission, please visit For videos about each winner, visit