Christianity is one of the world’s oldest religions practised by virtually more than half of the world’s population. Founded by Jesus Christ thousands of years ago, this religion has spread everywhere that various denomination has sprung up since its inception.
The Church is a sacred place where Christians pray, worship God and carry out holy activities as commanded by Christ in the Bible. Most of these churches that have history are known to be extremely wealthy in terms of their financial valuation.
In no particular order, we list out the top 10 richest churches in the world, their headquarters and worth respectively.
1. Catholic Church
The Catholic church is the oldest and richest church in Christendom founded by the apostles of Jesus. It has to its credit about 2 billion baptised followers and has over the years shaped the history of the world.
Also known as the Roman Catholic church, this religious institution is headed by the Pope, the 4th most powerful person in the world by Forbes and has more than 3000 dioceses in virtually every continent and country of the world. Its headquarters is at the Vatican city in Rome.
The wealth of the Catholic Church is worth more than $50 billion dollars as most of its collections, historical artifacts, paintings, gothic buildings, etc are recorded at the Vatican. Some argue that this figure might be false as the worth of the church might be impossible to calculate.
The various diocese are headed by Bishops appionted by the Pope himself while pastors, deacons and priests are heading various parishes. The Catholic church still remains the largest Christian church were other denominations sprung out from.
2. Anglican (Church of England)
The Anglican church or Church of England separated from the Catholic church during the time of King Henry VIII in 1534. The pope during this period had failed to grant King Henry his divorce request to Catherine of Aragon. It was at this period that the Church of England ronounced its affiliations with Rome and the Papacy.
Today, the Anglican church has a population of more than 25 million people and is regarded as one of the richest churches in the world too. Although, most countries where the Anglican church is found have distanced themselves from the Archbishop of Canterbury, England who is the primate and the Queen who is seen as the Supreme Governor, her doctrines are still in use till date.
3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
This religious organization are also called LDS or Mormon Church and have their headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States. They have approximately 17 million members worldwide and are present in over 176 nations with various missionaries and congregations totalling 120,000 and still growing.
The founder of the Mormon Church was Joseph Smith in 1830 at Fayette, New York. The Mormons believe in Jesus Christ but have a different view as to the nature of God and the potential of mankind. Apart from the Holy Bible, they base their doctrine from the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
According to Wikipedia, they are ranked among the wealthiest religious organizations as they are worth $40 billion and also make an annual revenue of $4 billion also.
4. Episcopalian Church
The Episcopal church separated from the Church of England after the American revolution. Founded in 1785, this religious movement sees itself as protestant and even catholic. Their priests and its clergy don’t swear allegiance to the Queen of England or the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Its current primate is Michael Curry and this church’s headquarters is in 815 Second Avenue, New York, United States. The Episcopalian church has more than a million baptized members and dioceses in countries like Micronesia, Taiwan, South America and even in Europe. Most of the members of this church as extremely wealthy too.
5. Protestant Churches
These are Christian religious bodies that opposed the Papacy and the Roman Catholic teachings. They center their belief system on the word of God contained in the Bible, denying all other additions made by the pope.
As at today, there are more than 30,000 protestant denominations scattered round the world. In fact, their history can be traced to Martin Luther in 1517 when he spoke again the Holy See. In terms of accumulated wealth, they too are ranked amongst the top.
6. Pentecostal Churches
Most of the richest pastors in the world today are from the Pentecostal churches. These are the modern day churches that sprang up and have various teachings that borders more on prosperity. The likes of Bishop T.D Jakes, Joel Osteen, Bishop David Oyedepo, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn are just but a few preachers under this movement.
While they still preach Christ, the assets of these Pentecostal churches put together runs into billions of dollars as they operate expensive budgets, have private jets, businesses and also run televangelical ministries. Some notable Pentecostal churches under this religious organization include: House of Potter, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Winners Chapel, etc.