The Social Programs run by the Romanian Orthodox Church During the Period of the Economic Crisis (English version)
In the extremely fluid space marked by the strongest economic crisis of the past 60 years, one can observe that the state and the Church became institutions undergoing major changes, while religion becomes shelter for the people in risk of social and economic exclusion. The world economic crisis which started in 2008 shows major changes in the public policies, particularly in the social policies, and the Church may play a major role for the support of the vulnerable groups, now that the budget allocations traditionally administered by the State decreased. With the intention to identify these changes in the religious structures from Romania, we attempted to analyse the data available with the Romanian Orthodox Church. Thus, the complementarity of the assistance to the vulnerable groups through the social programs developed by the Church is beneficial both for the state and for the Church itself due to the predominant social-philanthropic character of the support provided to the faithful people during this period of economic crisis. The paper also reveals the framework of the social entrepreneurship in relation with the religious structures and launches the challenge to continue capitalising on the relation between the expenditure for welfare coming from public funds and the different dimensions of religiousness, particularly by integrating the activities of social assistance.
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