The distribution of resources and wealth in the world is unequal. Nothing demonstrates this more so than poverty. The definition of the poverty line is those earning less the $1 or 60p per day. This is seen as simply not enough to survive on. Poverty affects people world-wide, and is measured using the HPI or Human Poverty Index. There are many different causes of poverty, however there is one thing in common across all examples of poverty. Simply not having enough money or resources to provide the basic resources for life, including food and shelter.
This index takes into account education, health care, length of life and diet, as well as simply the wealth of a person. Poverty mainly affects those living in less developed countries, or LDC’s. It is in these LDC’s where poverish living standards quickly develop, due to the lack of the necessary resources or wealth to sustain a good standard of living. There are currently many aid programmes, both Christian and other organisations, trying to deal with the massive problem of poverty.
As Christians, it is our duty to ensure that all people have at least the basic ealth care and sanitation in order to lead a life free from life threatening diseases caused by poverty. In the parable of the rich young man, we are told in order to enter the kingdom of heaven; we must sell all our possessions and give the money to the poor. This has just as much relevance in the world today, and so we should follow Jesus’ teaching and help those living in poverty worldwide.
No-one is to blame for poverty, however the way in which our world has developed is causing the few rich countries to increase their wealth and ower, while the LDC’s are becoming poorer, making already bad conditions worse for many millions of people. Poverty does not simply cause a bad standard of living; it is also at the root of many problems in our world today, including child labour, civil wars and many other problems. By helping to tackle poverty, we are also helping to tackle some of these related problems, and so are making our world as a whole a better place to live for all people.
As Christians we should do we can to help the victims of all plights, ncluding poverty and its related problems. The Catholic Church believes that there is no separation between the religious and secular world. This is because God made the whole world, and so all people are God’s people no matter what their religious beliefs are, and so we should help all victims of poverty. Many Christian and non-Christian aid agencies work with those who suffer from poverty, and help to improve the basic quality of life of those affected.
This can be done by helping to educate the children of poverty, llowing them to have a job, which can support their families in years to come, or simply helping to build proper housing which is safe and provides shelter from the elements. Most Christians chose to donate money to the agencies, which in turn work with poverty stricken people. However, some people chose to go and work directly in the areas worst affected by poverty, and so give their time instead of their money. In general Christians do all they can to help the victims of poverty, as this is what Jesus taught us, to love all our neighbours.