The LDS church takes money from poor people from around the world and uses some of it to subsidize university places for mostly white, middle-class American college students at BYU.
- As of Winter 2013 there are 29,035 full-time students enrolled at BYU. (http://yfacts.byu.edu/viewarticle.aspx?id=102)
- Of these, 98.5% are LDS (http://yfacts.byu.edu/viewarticle.aspx?id=135)
- Undergraduate LDS students pay $4,850-$2,425=$2,425 (50%) less than non-LDS students per semester (http://finserve.byu.edu/content/tuition-and-general-fees)
- This difference is made up by tithing funds (see above, “Significant portions of university operating costs are paid with the tithes of Church members. In recognition of this support, Church members are assessed lower tuition fees than those who are not members.”)
- The total cost of this is 29,035*0.985*$2,425*2= $139 million per year
- Some of this money comes from poverty-stricken members in Latin America and Asia, and poor struggling families in the US and elsewhere (see http://lds.org/general-conference/2005/04/tithing-a-commandment-even-for-the-destitute?lang=eng, http://thomasmonson.com/97/thomas-s-monson-shares-tithing-stories)
- LDS members are told that they must pay tithing in order to attain salvation, and in order to attend the temple
- For a comparison of some of the countries tithing is sourced from and their relative incomes:
|LDS Members (million) 2012||GDP per Capita 2012|
- 86% of BYU students are white (http://yfacts.byu.edu/article?id=135), and only 0.9% are black. I suspect, but cannot confirm, that most of these students are from middle-class families with above average income
Although only a tiny fraction of total tithing funds would be paid by poor families and individuals in South America or elsewhere (tithing is always 10% of gross income), I still find this a very strange way to transfer wealth. It is bizarre to me that God would demand such a thing.