The number of people who made New Year’s visits to major shrines or temples in Japan this year has reached a record high, statistics by the National Police Agency (NPA) have shown.
The NPA says that more people are likely to have prayed for an economic recovery because of the continuing recession.
Hmm I wonder if church attendance in other recession hit countries is up too?
This story also reminded me of something slightly off topic but still dealing with money and religion. As you know most Christian churches have some kind of collection where the money taken up each Sunday and is used for church expenses and charitable causes. Of course if you attend mass no one forces you to give and you are free to pray all you want, at any time you want without having to pay. At Buddhist temples and Shinto shrine here though most Japanese people who go there can not imagine saying their prayers without first throwing a five yen coin in. Why five yen? This wikipedia article should help click here.
So how do temples and shrines survive money wise if people are infrequently throwing in mainly five yen coins? They charge a lot for all religious services offered including and especially funerals. I posted an article sometime ago about the cost of Buddhist funerals and it stated that roughly $5,000 is paid to the priest. click here for that article. That is one example but other ceremonies, such as a kind of Shinto baptism called miyamairi, I am unaware of the exact costs right now. Every religion requires money to operate its just a question of when you pay and the thinking behind it.