Netherlands: Mosques save authorities millions

Netherlands: Mosques save authorities millions

Activities of mosques provide a big contribution to Dutch society and save institutes about 150 million euro annually, according to Sitchting Oikos, which conducted a study on the social return of mosques for the Interior Ministry.  

Most mosques conduct socially-relevant activities which otherwise would have to take place in, for example, community centers.  Forms of care, activities with children, Dutch lessons, homework support and other social-cultural work.

Sixteen mosques across the country were studied for 'Moskeeën gewaardeerd' ("mosques valued"), which together save society about 5.2 million euro.  For all 457 mosques that comes to about 150 million euro.  The researchers of Stichting Oikos used the same research methods which were formerly used to decide the social return of protestant churches in Utrecht and immigrant churches in the Hague.  In the report the results of these earlier studies are compared to the mosque study.  The social return of the churches in Utrecht is higher than that of mosques, which in their turn 'paid off' better than the Hague immigrant churches.

The result of the study can, according to the association, contribute to discussions about, for example, subsidy possibilities by local authorities of religious institutes and the relationship between government and religious organizations.

The study will be presented in Utrecht on Friday to representatives of the Contact Organ Muslims and Christians.

Source: Trouw (Dutch)

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