Religion: Supply & Demand

Many a Bible Belt church found itself in a strange position this Christmas season: it was running out of poor. ¶In his little Oak Grove Baptist Church near Springfield, Tenn., the Rev. John Richard Christian found little use for the $40 he had raised for Christmas giving, in the end, used it for such charity as presents for shut-ins (though not necessarily poor ones).

¶In the Kentucky manufacturing city of Mayfield (pop. 8,990), churches have had so much difficulty finding all the poor parishioners that for the past three years they have relied on a newspaper campaign to search out needy...

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