“Particularly in countries like Germany and the Netherlands, in which the state and the churches as well as the denominations were competing against one another, religions became highly committed to the welfare sector”, according to the Protestant theologian and social ethicist Prof. Dr. Hans-Richard Reuter from the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence. “In countries like Spain or Poland, on the other hand, where Catholicism had the monopoly for a long time and was closely tied to the state, religions had hardly any influence on welfare statism, which is less well developed there to this day.”
I have to wonder why something similar hasn’t happened in the USA. There’s a ton of religious competition here due to there not being an official “state” religion. Though it could be due to how stratified the USA is; many states and even counties are very insular and thus might be seen as their own little “country” within the country. So while there are a lot of different religions in the USA, these religions don’t really come into contact or compete with each other.
That’s my guess anyway.
This is also sorta significant due to the role that welfare states have on religion. Is this some sort of teleological function that religions have — moving towards welfare states as an end game — or is it cyclical, going from religion to welfare state and back to religion like some sort of Ouroboros?