Mitt Romney: Mormon church contributions highlight his faith


Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally in Florence, South Carolina, January 17, 2012. South Carolina will hold its Republican primary on January 21, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand



Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s private equity company Bain Capital gave the Mormon church millions of dollars of stock in holdings, according to a report by ABC news.

Romney’s religion has largely remained an undercurrent in the Republican race to nominate a presidential candidate, but with him emerging as the seemingly inevitable front-runner the focus is shifting to focus on his Mormon faith.

According to ABC, “filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that an unnamed Bain partner donated 65,326 shares of Burger King stock to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, holdings then worth nearly $1.9 million.”

Romney personally has been a generous donor to the Mormon church, with his family charity, the Tyler Foundation, contributing nearly $4 million to the church, reported ABC.

A Pew Research Center survey of Mormons showed that only 56 percent of the community thinks the country is ready for a Mormon president, even though 86 percent of them have a favorable view of Romney, Politico reported last week.

More on GlobalPost: Mormons feel misunderstood by Americans and the mainstream: poll

Romney’s faith might especially be a handicap in the South Carolina primary, as rival candidate Rick Santorum, a Catholic, earned the backing of more than a hundred Evangelical leaders in the days leading up to the primary.

More on GlobalPost: Prominent evangelicals back Rick Santorum

The Guardian reported last week that more than half of Evangelicals believe that Mormonism isn’t Christian, and 15 percent say it would decrease their chances of voting for Romney.

This may pose a problem for Romney in states like South Carolina where Evangelical voters make up 60 percent of the Republican voting bloc, according to The New York Times