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1. Christianity a tenth part of agricultural or other produce, personal income, or profits, contributed either voluntarily or as a tax for the support of the church or clergy or for charitable purposes
2. any levy, esp of one tenth
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the tenth part of a crop (or other incomes), taken from the population for the support of the clergy and church.

In ancient times, the tithe existed among many Semitic peoples, particularly the Jews, and was passed on to the western Christian Church. The Christian Church first demanded the tithe in 585, citing the Bible. Beginning in 779 the tithe became obligatory for the entire Prankish kingdom. The Catholic Church, which levied the tithe in the Middle Ages, took both grapes and grain (the so-called great tithe), garden and industrial crops (the small tithe), and live cattle and animal produce (the blood tithe). The tithe was canonically divided into one-third for the upkeep of church buildings, one-third for the clergy, and one-third for the paupers of the parish. With the development of feudal relations, however, the tithe became almost completely levied for the benefit of the high church officials. The heaviest burden was on the peasantry, the upper classes often being spared payment.

Complete elimination of or limitations on the tithe were included in the demands of many peasant uprisings. In France the tithe was abolished in 1789-90, and in other countries during the 19th century. In Rus’, the tithe (desiatina) was established during the tenth century by Prince Vladimir Sviatoslavich; later, the church was given the right to collect fines in cases adjudicated by the church court instead of collecting the desiatina, but in certain cases various church organizations, although not the monasteries, continued to levy the desiatina. It was finally abolished at the end of the 19th century.

In Islam, the zakat is the functional equivalent of the tithe.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He argues that for Paul the tithe would have been the minimum acceptable standard for giving.
Abdul Malik reportedly said he had received complaints from most of the state's 'zakat fitrah' amil (persons authorised to collect the Muslim tithe) about the matter.
Pastors drawn from Churches in Teso North, Teso South sub counties and Bukhayo North Ward in Nambale have rejected plans by the National Government to start taxing tithes and vowed to resist to the move.
In uniting together, the companies will conduct business as Tithe.ly.
The church tax is collected by the government and channelled to the respective faiths."I was told Germans make agreements with their government to deduct monthly tithe from their salaries and forward it to the church and this money they use to build and renovate their churches," he added.
The village tithe barn was where taxes were recorded and stored by the village priest, while the cottage of the village reeve was home to the man who was responsible for making sure that village agriculture was running smoothly and that the peasants were looking after their crops.
The real story of the book is that ten percent of a person's income does not represent a biblical tithe. The biblical tithe has always been food.
An army of over 850 volunteers have digitised Wales' 1,212 tithe maps for the Heritage Lottery-funded Cynefin project, based at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.
This tithe barn in Melling was used to store produce set aside for the clergy
The National Library of Wales and the Farmers' Union Wales are displaying a number of tithe maps at the pavilion.
What Tithe Farmhouse in Alderminster, Warwickshire, lacks in decorative finesse it makes up for in character and historic presence.
Fuchs One Stop Shop of Gerry Refil and Jovy Abella defeated Java Tithe 77-70 to claim their first ever championship trophy from JBL at the Bin Mahfouz basketball court here in Jeddah.