people near notre dame des victoires catholic church in quebec in canada
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Places of worship are more than just places where people gather on weekends. They are also economic generators.

That’s the view of Lisa Richmond, vice-president of research for Cardus, a Canadian think-tank.

Using Cardus’ Halo Calculator, which estimates the economic impact of places of worship, Richmond said Canadian churches, mosques, synagogues, gurdwaras and temples generate about $18 billion of economic value for the country each year.

“That’s the impact of thousands of places of worship,” said Richmond. “This isn’t something most people are aware of.”

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John Longhurst is a freelance religion reporter and columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. He has been involved in journalism and communications for over 40 years, including as president of Canadian Church...