Top 10 richest religions in the world (2022 Updates)
For many years, the relationship between wealth and religion has been a source of contention. After all, religion is a cultural system that frequently involves belief in supernatural forces and may seek to provide a moral system or a sense of meaning in life. Religions, after all, are supposed to be about faith and spirituality. However, religion, like any other business, has income and expenses. As a result, organized religion can be compared to a business. The status of being the beneficiary or proprietor of a large accumulation of capital and economic power is referred to as wealth. In any case, there are many religions that are actually wealthy organizations.
Top 10 richest religions in the world (2022 Updates)
1. Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church is widely regarded as the wealthiest organization on the planet. It is arguably the world’s most powerful financial power. So, whatever your feelings about religion are, you have to admire the balance sheet.
Their operating budget is in the hundreds of billions of dollars, far exceeding that of some of the world’s largest corporations. The church, as the world’s most popular religious group, is well-endowed both financially and physically.
It’s not surprising that the church has risen to the top of the world’s richest religions. This is because it is the most populous religious sect on the planet. The church’s wealth is rooted in its history; from priceless art pieces to prime tourism real estate, the religion has been able to carve out a steady income that attracts its billion-strong membership.
The Catholic Church owns some of the most important works of art in world history. It also has vast gold deposits and assets worth billions of dollars. As the Vatican is considered an independent city-state, the church also earns a significant amount of money from tourism.
On the other hand, because Catholic priests and nuns take a vow of poverty and do not own anything, they have a low staff cost. The church’s teachings encourage tithing, and with a billion members, there’s plenty of money to go around.
The church’s asset figures are difficult to obtain, but the Vatican itself has assets and security investments worth billions of dollars. The figures are kept under wraps, but the church’s sheer size ensures that it is always in the black.
Islam is a monotheistic religion that is one of the world’s fastest growing. Much of the religion’s richness can be attributed to its presence in the majority of the world’s leading oil-rich countries, namely the Middle East.
It’s no secret that the Middle East contains some of the world’s wealthiest nations. For many years, the Middle East has been a symbol of wealth as the seat of the oil empire.
Because Islam is prevalent in that region, it is also the reason the religion is ranked second on this list. Islam has no laws prohibiting the acquisition of wealth, and a large proportion of Muslims become wealthy.
For centuries, Jews have been associated with wealth. Judaism is said to have amassed the most wealth of any religion’s followers around the world. This is not stereotype profiling, as Jews are well-known for their business acumen.
Though Judaism is monotheistic, it is not homogeneous, as it contains a wide range of viewpoints. Rabbinic Judaism, Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and Reform Judaism are the largest streams and movements.
Aside from its home country of Israel, its members have enough economic clout in the United States to form a powerful lobby that can influence and sway political leaders’ decisions.
4. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a distinct religious group that is widely regarded as one of the world’s most rapidly growing and prosperous religions.
Its adherents are known as Mormons and can be found from Scandinavia to Japan. Nearly 90% of the church’s revenue comes from tithing, which requires members to give 10% of their total income.
5. Church of England
The Church of England is a form of Protestantism in some ways. It was formed solely to allow Henry VIII, King of England, to divorce Catherine of Aragon. The Catholic Church would not grant it to him.
Despite this, the Anglicans have grown to be a massive religious body. Tithe baskets, also known as Anglicanism, generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the church each year.
The Episcopal Church was founded in the United States in 1785, with roots in the Church of England’s American colonies. Because clergy of the Church of England are required to swear allegiance to the British monarch, the church split from Anglicanism.
It has spread beyond the United States to other countries around the world. Its adherents are likely the wealthiest in those countries, which adds to the religion’s wealth.
In Hinduism, all the gods are wealthy. The belief that abundance and wealth are gifts from the gods is central to Hindiism. In fact, Hindu gods live in opulence and wealth, and devout Hindus lavish adoration and appreciation on effigies for them.
It is not surprising that Hinduism is one of the world’s richest religions. The Hindu ethos is to constantly seek self-realization and self-knowledge, so it is not a system to which you can ever “achieve.” The goal is to find mental and physical wealth through Hindu religious practices, which is a lifelong pursuit with such a broad scope.
Protestantism is a large Christian denomination with a large following. Protestantism is essentially a break from the reign of the Vatican seat. It actually includes any Christian denomination that denies the authority of the Pope in Rome.
The religion dates back to the 16th century. It upholds the reformation’s principles and believes that the Bible is the sole source of truth. Protestants rely heavily on the Bible for practical guidance and viable direction, and many Protestant churches rely on giving and magnanimous commitments for financial support. Because of these factors, the religion has become one of the richest in the world.
9. Non-denominational Christianity
Non-denominational Christians adhere to the fundamental tenets of Protestantism without being bound by its creeds. Due to the growth and popularity of mega churches around the world, the religious sect has seen an increase in membership.
Non-denominational Christianity also has a modern and secular appeal. Many pastors who establish churches through this religion rely heavily on regular tithing from church members for financial support. Surprisingly, most churches like this are wealthy because of their members’ devotion to church offerings.
10. Church of Scientology
The Church of Scientology is dedicated to spreading the scientology belief system. L. Ron Hubbard founded the religion in 1952 as a spin-off from his self-help program Dianetics.
The Scientology religion operates on subscriptions, with church members rising through the ranks by paying the required fee. It’s an unusual setup for a religious organization, but it’s piqued the interest of many celebrities around the world.
Climbing the ranks is expensive for members. The sign-up fees are absurd, but they promise purity of body and soul if you stick with it. As you pay your dues, you will rise through the ranks of the church, earning more respect and purity. That’s a great way to raise funds for the church.