How has religious faith – or the lack of it – driven co-operative culture?

In his 1996 Background Paper to the 1995 Statement of Co-operative Identity, Ian MacPherson noted that co-operatives around the world “have developed within a rich array of belief systems, including all the world’s great religions and ideologies”.

And while Christian or Muslim communities are setting up credit unions as ethical alternatives to traditional banking institutions or payday lenders, secularists are adopting co-operation as a substitute for religion.

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