This Wikipedia list puts the Greek Orthodox church's net worth at 700B Euros in 2011 (about 974B USD), above any branch of the Catholic church or other religion. Its source is France 24, but I am not sure whether the 700B estimate is trustworthy. Other miscellaneous sources differ; e.g. Orthodox Church Quotes quotes the net worth at simply over 1B.

Is Wikipedia's claim true? The claim has two parts:

  • Is the net worth of the Greek Orthodox church around 700B Euros?
  • Is the Greek Orthodox church the single wealthiest religious organization in the world?
  • 1
    I tried to open the second link, but when I try to change the cookie settings it blocks me, it is probably just a bug, but feels creepy, so I did not read it. But on the other hand a page from the Orthodox church making a judgement on themselves leaves some doubts on the reliability. Between 1B and 700B there are a lot of possibilities.
    – mustermax
    Feb 27 at 17:15
  • 11
    For most large old denominations their "wealth" is tied up in large single-use historic buildings. The "value" of their historic cathedrals may technically be huge, but it's not like they can sell them and liquidate the assets. Feb 27 at 19:40
  • 6
    The exact definition of "net worth" is really quite complicated even for semi-liquid assets. Jeff Bezos owns about $90B worth of Amazon stock. However, if we would try to turn this into cash tomorrow, the stock would collapse and the yield would be not anywhere near $90B . So what is the stock really worth?
    – Hilmar
    Feb 28 at 1:26
  • 3
    @DJClayworth I don't know very much about Greece, but I live in a country dominated by a christian church and I know that their properties are not just the churches. Online searches give no results, but I am not surprised, anyway at least they own the residential buildings for the clerics, they own the monasteries which in Greece are a tourist attraction, probably they manage hospitals and similar institutions (here those owned by the church are profitable as private clinics), then there are the properties left as inheritance by people who die without children. These are just some examples.
    – mustermax
    Feb 28 at 9:42
  • 1
    @mustermax One example of other properties: The Swedish church owns 2% of Sweden's forests, which makes up about 70% of the country.
    – pipe
    Feb 28 at 15:16


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