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In some religions, people accept upon themselves some kind of "mission" to do whatever act to help others. In many cases, it involves collections to send to the poor, or to 3rd world countries. The items sent are not themselves used for religious purposes, but the collection is part of a religious "mission."

Is it permissible to give something to someone collecting for one of these missions? Is it allowed/encouraged to help them with their own religious "mission?" If the status of the religion as idolatry makes a difference, please include that in the answer.

Assume that the items being given are otherwise going to be discarded.

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@Yishai I think his question presupposes an answer to my question - he assumes that if the items are not being used for religious purposes then it is OK - my question is whether it is OK even if they are not used for religious purposes. – Y ez Aug 20 '14 at 3:20
AZ 2a. No? [15] – Double AA Aug 20 '14 at 4:54
@Yishai I don't think it's a duplicate because this question is about supporting the act of collecting as a meritorious act, independent of its goal or purpose. I think it's an interesting distinction. – WAF Aug 20 '14 at 13:21

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