What's on the Collection Plate?
Just like the government, many religions tax, too. But do all religions have tithing requirements? Use this chart to see which faiths require a certain amount, and what followers can gain spiritually from their donations.
HINDU | JEWISH | MORMON | MUSLIM | PROTESTANT
|Baha'i||Baha'is are asked to make voluntary contributions--often as much as 19% of their income--to Baha'i causes and the Baha'i world center.||Contributions are considered a sacred obligation, in order to expand Baha'i spiritual activities.||Several Baha'i writings explain the importance of both generosity and the Baha'i fund.|
|Buddhist||Buddhism emphasizes the giving of alms, or dana, to Buddhist monks, nuns, and other teachers of the dharma. Dana is an act of generosity and reverence.||Almsgiving is considered a way of cultivating selflessness, compassion, and non-attachment.||Buddhist texts encourage giving, but they do not stipulate exact amounts.|
|Catholic||Most Catholic churches suggest that parishioners contribute 10% of their income to charity, with 5% going to the local church and 5% going to the parishioner's charity of choice.||The concept of sacrificial giving is very important in Catholicism, both to help those less fortunate and to show gratitude for God's gifts.||Catholics follow the Bible's words about tithing and giving. "Active love for the poor" is also emphasized in the catechism's treatment of the commandment "You shall not steal."|
|Earth-based||There is no pagan or Wiccan tithe, though charity is emphasized as a virtue.||Giving is at the discretion of the individual. Spiritual benefits are often derived from helping others in their communities.||No real source, since contributions are left up to the individual.|
|Eastern Orthodox||The Orthodox Church emphasizes voluntary stewardship instead of a specific tithe amount.||The church sees stewardship as a way for members of the church to participate fully in the church.||The Orthodox concept of stewardship comes from both the Old and New Testaments.|
|Hindu||There is no official Hindu tithe, but Hindus do pay for pujas and often donate to their temples.||Donation is considered a religious duty in Hinduism. Hindus also donate daan, alms, to holy men and the poor.||Though there is no tithe, giving is still an element in many Hindu sacred texts.|
|Jewish||Jews are obligated to give between 10% and 20% of their income to charity. Synagogues are supported by voluntary donations for membership dues, which are separate from charitable obligations.||Giving tzedakah is considered a sign of righteousness. The rabbis limited tzedakah to no more than a fifth of one's income so that no one would impoverish him- or herself by giving to others in need.||Few people today follow the tithing laws outlined in the Torah. Instead, many Jews use Maimonides' ladder of charity as a tool for understanding the modern Jewish conception of tzedakah.|
|Mormon||Mormons are required to tithe 10% of their income to the church. The tithe is used to pay for the operating costs of the church, as well as the funding of new temples, missionary programs, and more.||Mormons consider tithes to be sacred money, and tithing is seen as a duty and a test of faithfulness.||Mormon laws of tithing are outlined in the Latter-day Saints' Doctrine & Covenants.|
|Muslim||Muslims are required to pay zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam. Normally Muslims pay at least 2.5% in zakat. Muslims may also choose to pay voluntary charity, or sadaqah.||Zakat means "purification" and "growth." The giving of this obligatory tithing to religious authorities is considered a monetary act of worship. Giving zakat is said to purify wealth and also enhance it.||"And keep up Salaat and pay Zakaat and contribute for Allah's Sake a contribution."
|Protestant||Many Protestant churches follow the biblical exhortation to give 10% of one's income back to God. The tithe goes to wherever a person receives his or her spiritual teaching.||Many Protestant churches emphasize stewardship as the path to receiving God's blessings and both spiritual and material abundance.||Malachi 3:8-10 and many other Bible verses.|
Text by Rebecca Phillips