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Religion and Wealth and Poverty - Describe the causes of poverty in the developing world.

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Introduction

GCSE Coursework: Religion and Wealth and Poverty a) Describe the causes of poverty in the developing world. There are two types of poverty currently within the world. People having too little money to provide standard living conditions for themselves define absolute poverty and characteristics of substandard lives are malnutrition, disease and low-life expectancy. Relative poverty exists where a person is considered poor in relation to the average wealth held in their society. The developing world includes LDC (less developed countries) and developing countries. LDCs are countries considered still to be poor and they often contain many inhabitants who are in absolute poverty. Developing countries are countries like Malaysia, which are gaining in wealth. The developing world tends to hold more people in absolute or relative poverty. Poverty is a major problem within the developing world. The developing world holds seventy five percent of the world's population yet only twenty percent of the world's wealth. This presents a problem and the shortage of money leads them into the vicious cycle of poverty, where one factor leads to another and eventually the situation spirals to devastating extents. Natural disasters plunge developing world countries and LEDCs (less economically developed countries). For example, the Gujarat earthquake disaster of early 2001 and the heavy flooding that wreaked havoc on the inhabitants of Mozambique. The disasters cause poverty because often these countries are often weak financially and cannot afford to restore their country after extensive damage. Therefore, due to lack of resources the situation often worsens. It affects their inhabitants' livelihoods causing a lack of production leading to being unable to provide for citizens. This in turn leads to poverty, as they cannot even provide substances to trade and lose money. ...read more.

Middle

This embodies the message that the bible radiates. It urges the rich man to share and look after his brother and avoid greed. It tells "give to the poor and you will have riches in heaven"(Mark10: 21) promising reward for good conduct on earth. All denominations of Christianity follow the belief that as Christians they have a strong duty to the poor. The Catholic Church believes a majority of difference in wealth within the world are due to our new society has institutions which encourage 'structures of sin'. The Anglican Church also believes society is biased negatively for the poor and needs to be reformed. The churches support groups like CAFOD and enforce a strong sense of their duty to the poor. The teachings of Christianity and the Bible help relieve poverty and could in future help even further through new fresh campaigns. Their teachings inspire many people to help in the struggle against poverty and not just Christians. The actions prompted by the churches' influence over many people and Christian literature have led to organisations like charities that help relieve poverty and improve the lives of many in the developing world. Islam does not deny wealth and riches in the world. It also does not ignore the significance of money. However, Islam does stress several guidelines in its literature and practice for its followers as regards wealth and poverty issues. The Qur'an stresses that all items on earth belong to Allah and that you do not really own the money you possess on earth. It also warns of Allah having no love for those" given to excess" (Surah 5:90) and this is a message against greed. ...read more.

Conclusion

They challenge injustice and inequality, the origin for this belief being the Gospel. They also follow to views of Jesus and want everyone to have the decent life and quality of life God invites them to have. The campaigns of Christian Aid have led to much improvement and many conferences like those held by 'The Jubilee 2000 Coalition', founded in1996 campaigning against what they consider major factors in poverty, in this case, the coalition campaigns for the cancellation of all debts. Although, this has not yet occurred the work of this organisation has aided people in poverty within developing world countries like Uganda for example. They have to date been considered a successful group. d) 'You cannot be truly religious and rich'. Do you agree? Give reasons showing you have considered other points of view. A widely discussed topic is the belief that one can have great amounts of wealth and yet be classed as being religious. Some believe they have sufficient reasons to say that one who owns a large sum of money is therefore as a result of this, unable to be considered a faithful follower of any religion. The term 'rich' applies to those who are wealthy in comparison to the average wealth of others in the society they live in. To be 'truly religious' however means that a person has the beliefs of the religion they choose to follow. They also display and practice their beliefs faithfully. Due to some religious teachings and personal opinions, the statement in question is avidly supported by various people. Many people in the world are Christians and therefore look to religious institutions and literature for guidance. Currently, Christianity supports the teachings of Jesus , who encouraged Christians to remember that they are all of equal importance in the eyes of God. Jesus encourages sharing and instructs those considered rich to give to the poor. ...read more.

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