What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and the needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
- Augustine, Confessions
The Becket law firm combined data from the National Congregations study of churches, synagogues and mosques at Duke University with an earlier study from the University of Pennsylvania on congregations as service providers.
They show that 80 percent of congregations provide social services to their communities. As important as government safety net programs are, without the continuous care from religious organizations and houses of worship, millions of people would fall through the cracks.
Religious congregations are there when a hurricane sweeps through or an earthquake destroys homes and jobs. They cook meals and man the food lines for the homeless and the hungry. They run programs that advance health and promote the welfare of the young.
When these services are provided, houses of worship often provide them within their own walls. Churches, synagogues, and mosques are not just places where worship services are held. They are places where people in need are served.
This is one reason why Protect The 1st is adamant about protecting the free exercise of religion clause in the First Amendment. Protecting the right to worship is also protecting human welfare.