Eight Reasons Why the Overall Level of Religious Philanthropy in China is Low

By Yi Yang, December 18, 2015 02:12 AM


Chen Youhua, the professor of School of Social and Behavioral Sciences of Nanjing University, says that currently the religious philanthropy in China is in the low level overall and there are five problems: small scale and the low level of participation, lack of internal motive and persistence, unstandardized activities, wrong motives and management in disorder. The passage will talk about the eight reasons that causes these problems in China:

1. Imperfect legal system. For example, religious charitable organizations have difficulty in registration.

2. Lack of management and supervision mechanism. There is lack of effective management and supervision mechanism in managing charitable funds and system guarantee on the operational level in the field of the religious economic management, which are the internal and external transparent operating systems.

3. Limited finance and short of qualified talents. There are lacking long-term plans and professional talents.

4. There're too many Buddhist pilgrims but inadequate believers among the Buddhists.

5. Lacking insufficient motivation and initiative while engaging in charitable activities in the religious world.

6. It doesn't have modern theory. Due to the suspension and restraint, the religious world lacks the theory and methods to carry out charitable career.

7. Difficult in identity and self-positioning. As specialized charitable activities appear, the religious charitable organizations are bound to face some challenges that religious organizations may find it difficult to identity their place and social status in its self-adjustment.

8. Delayed transformation.Along with the Protestant Reformation, founding modern democratic countries, secularization becoming the mainstream in the world, religions returning to the spirit level and the nation undertaking more public responsibilities, the responsibility the religious groups carried in the history now is partially taken by the government, which forces the traditional charitable groups including religious groups to relocate their positions.

Chen holds that as for religious institutions, to provide social service is one of the most effective and main ways to exert influence and extend it in the society and reflect their own values. Church should organize social service activities as opportunities for believers to love others.

Besides, Chen suggests that the religious organizations can learn from domestic charitable organization that has both the religion background and experience, such as the Amity Foundation of Nanjing, Buddhist Compassion Relief TCBC Foundation of Taiwan and Beijing Ren Ai Charity Foundation, who explore for a long time in charity and gain much successful experience. "We should learn the good experience and methods in charity from the religious organizations in the world, especially in the western world like Xuanzang went on a pilgrimage for Buddhist scriptures." Said Chen. 

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