Two Evangelical megachurches received between $5 million and $10 million in loans from the federal government’s coronavirus pandemic relief fund, data released by the Treasury Department this week shows.
Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago and Life.Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, said the funds from the Paycheck Protection Program will allow them to keep hundreds of jobs. The program is intended to help small businesses and nonprofits maintain payroll and other costs during the novel coronavirus crisis.
An analysis by Ryan Burge, assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University, found that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), at least two Jewish organizations, and a dozen Roman Catholic entities, many dioceses, also took in between $5 million and $10 million.
The Treasury Department did not release the exact amounts each recipient received.
Religious organizations and nonprofits, including private and religious schools, are eligible for PPP funds. Mr. Burge estimated in a post on Twitter that 665,000 jobs were kept through the federal loan program.