Religious people are more generous than non-believers when it comes to giving to charity, research claims.
It preaches help for the poor and loving thy neighbour but now a new study has provided evidence that religion can make people more generous in their everyday lives.
Research commissioned by the BBC found that people who profess a religious belief are significantly more likely to give to charity than non-believers.
Sikhs and Jews emerged as the most likely to share their worldly goods with a good cause, just ahead of Christians, Hindus and Muslims.
The study, carried out for the BBC's network of local radio stations, included polling by ComRes of a sample of more than 3,000 people of all faiths and none.
It found that levels of generosity across the British public are strikingly high, but highest among those with a religious faith.
Overall as many as seven in 10 people in England said they had given money to a charity in the past month. But while just over two thirds of those who professed no religious faith claimed to have done so, among believers the figure rose to almost eight out of 10.
Among those polled, all of the Sikhs and 82 per cent of practising Jews had given money in the past month. Among practising Christians the figure was 78 per cent.
The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, general Secretary of the Methodist Church, said: “Religious faith should motivate people to acts of generosity and it’s good to see this reflected in these figures.
“Of course, financial giving is only part of the picture.
“For some people a simple act of kindness, or the very fact that someone has made time for them, can mean more than any financial gift.
"But every act of generosity, however small, bears witness to a generous and loving God and helps to change the world for good.”