One of the dirty secrets of Christianity is that there are numerous crooked pastors, priests and church financial secretaries embezzling funds. The International Bulletin of Missionary Research projected that $37 billion would be stolen by Christian religious leaders in 2013 and this fraud will reach $60 billion annually by 2025.
Here are four possible signs that money is being embezzled by religious leaders.
- The pastor or priest lives an extravagant lifestyle.
- The church leader regularly fails to turn in receipts when using the church or ministry credit card.
- The church sends you a receipt for donations and the amount listed doesn’t match your own records of what you have given. (Anonymously given cash offerings will not be tracked.)
- The church suddenly starts showing large unexplained debts.
I’ve compiled this list of warning signs from numerous church fraud cases and future articles will describe how these thefts took place and how religious leaders attempted to cover up their crimes.