Last modified on December 13, 2019, at 03:14

Christianity and hospitals

St. Basil of Caesarea founded the first hospital. Christian hospitals subsequently spread quickly throughout both the East and the West.[1]

Below are resources on Christianity and hospitals.

Early Christian hospitals were the first hospitals

St. Basil of Caesarea founded the first hospital. Christian hospitals subsequently spread quickly throughout both the East and the West.[2]

The First Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. ordered the construction of a hospital for every cathedral town in the Roman Empire to care for the poor, sick, widows, and strangers. They were staffed and funded by religious orders and volunteers.[3]

Articles on Christianity and hospitals

Below are articles on Christianity and hospitals:

Religious hospitals vs. secular hospitals: Quality of care

See also: Atheist hospitals and Secular hospitals

According to the Acton Institute:

Thomson Reuters has issued a new report that shows church-run hospitals provide better quality care more efficiently than other secular hospitals.

Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs at Thomson Reuters, says, “Our data suggest that the leadership of health systems owned by churches may be the most active in aligning quality goals and monitoring achievement of mission across the system.”[4]

Quality of care in hospitals by religious affiliation

Atheist hospitals in China

See: Atheist hospitals in China

Atheist hospitals in Vietnam

See: Atheist hospitals in Vietnam

Atheist hospitals in North Korea

North Korea practices state atheism.[5] The World Health Organization said about North Korea's health care system, "challenges remained, including poor infrastructure, a lack of equipment, malnutrition and a shortage of medicines."[6]

Atheist hospitals in Cuba

See: Atheist hospitals in Cuba

Atheist mental hospitals in the Soviet Union

See: Atheist mental hospitals in the Soviet Union

Christian hospitals in the United States and other regions

Catholic hospitals in the United States

A healthcare website indicated in 2016 concerning the United States:

The number of Catholic-owned or affiliated hospitals in the United States has grown by 22 percent since 2001, and now 1 in 6 acute care beds is in a hospital connected to the church, according to a report released by MergerWatch.

The watchdog group found that due to mergers and acquisitions over the past 15 years, 14.5 percent of all acute care hospitals in the nation are now either owned by or affiliated with the Catholic church, according to the study. In 10 U.S. states, the number of Catholic hospitals is more than 30 percent.[7]

Methodist hospitals

Methodists have built a lot of hospitals in the world. For example, Wikipedia (a website founded by an atheist and agnostic) states in its Methodism article: "These ideals, collectively known as the Social Gospel, are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools to follow Christ's command to spread the good news and serve all people."[8]

Baptist hospitals

Baptists have also built hospitals in the United States and internationally.

For example, the Nigerian Baptist Convention operates several hospitals and medical training institutions across Nigeria.[9]

Book on Christianity and hospitals

  • From Monastery to Hospital: Christian Monasticism and the Transformation of Health Care in Late Antiquity by Andrew T. Crislip, University of Michigan Press (April 21, 2005), ISBN-10: 0472114743, ISBN-13: 978-0472114740

See also


  1. The Christian origin of hospitals
  2. The Christian origin of hospitals
  3. Hospitals - A historical perspective
  4. The Superiority of Christian Hospitals by JORDAN J. BALLOR • August 17, 2010, Acton Institute website
  5. World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. Marshall Cavendish. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “North Korea is officially an atheist state in which almost the entire population is nonreligious.” 
  6. "Aid agencies row over North Korea health care system", BBC News, 10 July 2010. 
  7. Number of Catholic hospitals in US has grown 22% since 2001
  8. Methodism
  9. I. A. Adedoyin, A Short History of the Nigerian Baptist: 1850-1978, Nigerian Baptist Bookstore, USA, 1998, p. 57