Just to address the first post on the No side, while religions of old would often scorn and ostracize people, religions today are much more open minded. For example, a church won't kick you out for not be christian nor would Christians be unwelcome at a temple. The fact of the matter is that however open minded or faith based they still take your money and labor in order to help others and that is a basic definition of a charity. In fact religions are better charities than most mainstream charities because they offer two things: one moral guidance and alleviation, and two, all the work goes towards the issue which not even the best non-profits can boast.
It can easily be argued that religions are not charities.Usually charities are thought of as organizations that help people despite their personal beliefs.Some religions are known to scorn people who are different or have even the slightest different thoughts about different subjects.They tend to exclude people instead of including them.
I have never looked at religions as charities, and it is not in anyway because of the fact that I am religious, being a catholic. I think religions are not something that should be looked at as a "charity" or anything like that. They are a very serious tradition for people.
No, religions are not charities. Though religions often perform many charitable acts, on their own, they do not serve the function of being charities. Religions are certainly communities of people. Out of these communities, many good things can happen. However, there are also many bad things, such as intolerance, that arise from religions.
Religions can be considered to be charities by some, but for the most part, religions are often faith-based, with specific beliefs and rituals includes. While many religions believe in taking care of the less fortunate, they are not charity-based. Religions serve the purpose of providing spiritual guidance. Sometimes they practice their beliefs by being charitable to others, but their core is faith-based.
Many religions actually take more money than they give out. Whether it is through tithing or "collecting", many churches actually make more money than they spend. I would keep Relligions away from charity status and keep them under the "non profit" status, because they should not be able to profit.