Churches get more requests for help
The number of people seeking financial assistance from the Roman Catholic Church has increased by more than 50 percent since 2009, according to research by the Aid organization 'Kerk in Actie'.Kerk in Actie conducted research among twelve Dutch churches and ecclesiastical umbrella organizations. Last year almost 40,000 people requested financial assistance from the church. That is an increase of 15 percent compared to 2009.
Especially the Roman Catholic Church and some smaller denominations, saw the number of requests for aid increase substantially. The Dutch Protestant Church saw a lighter increase.
The better part of the people seeking financial support last year, were people without a job. Relatively new groups are people with a residual debt on their mortgage and zzp'ers(freelancers), according to Kerk in Actie. About eight out of ten requests are honored.
The churches collectively spent nearly 30 million on financial aid on people in need. In addition they spent another estimated 53 million in volunteer work to fight poverty.
Kerk in Actie notes more and more people become dependent on ecclesiastical assistance and speaks of an undesirable situation. The organization calls on the government to spare the most vulnerable groups from cuts.