In the first round, religious groups, who got up to $10 billion in COVID-19 help, sought to obtain more funds under any new relief package.
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Churches of various faiths and other religious groups flocked to the Paycheck Protection Program, which began offering forgiven loans in March as part of the CARES Act. According to an Associated Press review of Small Business Administration statistics, the Catholic Church in the United States got at least $1.4 billion and potentially as much as $3.5 billion under the program (SBA).
Additionally, the mainline Protestant and evangelical churches profited. According to a study released last month by Ministry Watch, an organization that gives counsel on charity giving, churches, and other religious non-profits got between $6 and $10 billion in PPP money.
This week, Ministry Watch issued a new study identifying over 400 evangelical organizations and churches with at least $1 million in COVID-19 assistance, with seven institutions obtaining PPP loans ranging from $5 to $10 million.
Several of the country’s most well-known evangelical churches received multimillion-dollar forgiving loans, includes Dallas’ First Baptist Church and New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America got between $5 and $10 million in disaster money (ELCA).
While Democrats and Republicans continue to disagree on a new round of COVID-19 relief financing, both parties’ plans contain additional PPP funding, in which religious groups may participate.