From Philanthropy to Christian Social Assistance. The Perspective of Beneficiaries of Social-Philanthropical Services of the Roman Orthodox Church
Keywords:philanthropy, professionalization, social assistance, Orthodox church.
This article presents the results of a sociological survey through a questionnaire aiming to investigate the perception of the beneficiaries of philanthropic and social assistance services offered by the Romanian Orthodox Church in the Archdiocese of Ia?i, for different categories of people in difficulty. The research envisages the way beneficiaries see themselves in connection with the specificity of faith-based social services, as well as their degree of satisfaction with these services. The research was carried out between September 2018 and February 2019 in the Archdiocese of Ia?i, which consists of 13 deaneries and 1221 parishes, disposed on the territory of Iasi, Neam? and Boto?ani Counties. The most important results lead to the conclusion that the services offered by the Orthodox Church are not conditioned by the membership and participation of the beneficiaries in the Christian religion, that in many situations, but not all, the assistance received from the Church is complementary to that received from the state, philanthropic and social assistance activities are regarded by the beneficiaries as a continuum of services, and the priest plays a central role in initiating the provision of social and philanthropic services within the Church.
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