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The distribution of resources and wealth in the world is unequal. Using a recent example which illustrates this inequality explain what Christian attitudes to this might be, and suggest what Christians might do to support the victims of this situation.

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Introduction

Carol Bhaskar CCSE Religious Studies Coursework - Section 2a (effect of Christianity on Behaviour, attitudes and lifestyle. RICH AND POOR. 1) The distribution of resources and wealth in the world is unequal. Using a recent example which illustrates this inequality explain what Christian attitudes to this might be, and suggest what Christians might do to support the victims of this situation. The world contains enough wealth and resources to supply the global population, starvation and homelessness would cease to exist. Unfortunately this idealist world is extremely distant from the reality of an unequal planet. 80% of the worlds income is taken by just 25% of its population. Shocking proof of this is the immense contrast between the average yearly income of some of the richest and poorest countries. An average person in Luxembourg receives $40 000 per year, whereas a comparatively minute income of $63 is all the average citizen of Sudan is likely to earn. This demonstrates the poverty line between the rich north and poor south. A horrifying example of absolute poverty can be found within Afghanistan. Here crippling droughts have struck the country for two consecutive years while harsh civil war has also affected the situation. Now food supplies are desperately low, only one third of 1999's out put of cereal crops is expected to be harvested. ...read more.

Middle

Those who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, gave drink to the thirsty and shelter to those who needed had helped God himself and would be recompensed with eternal life. This was saying that if we help those living in painful poverty now, then later in heaven we will be rewarded. The feeding of the five thousand(Mark 6:30-44) also shows another Christian view. Five loaves and two fish fed five thousand men, which shows that if we share what we have then everyone will have enough. If we were as selfless as the poor widow in Marks Gospel then the world would be a much more equal place. She gave all she had to the church, thinking of others before herself. Jesus praised her saying 'I tell you that this poor widow put more in the box than all the others......she gave all she had to live on' (mark 12:41-44). Today we need to follow her example and begin to consider those with virtually nothing. We can help by firstly giving up what we don't need, organisations such as CAFOD (Catholic Association For Overseas Development) collect any donations. This organisation is devoted to helping people in situations like those in Afghanistan. They're strategy however is not to simply supplement food shortages, there motto is 'give a man a fish for a day and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and he will feed himself for life'. ...read more.

Conclusion

They may also point out that England only has relative poverty, compared with the absolute destitution in developing countries. For example many street children in Latin America have nothing. They scavenge for food surviving through petty theft, prostitution and begging. They have no education and thus no future, most have never known any other way life and they can do nothing about there situation. The locals regard them as nothing but a nuisance - only we (people living in the 1st world) can help them. I personally disagree with this statement. I cannot contemplate why we should only help people in our country when there are others in abroad who need our help desperately, far more than most living in the UK. Recently the World Trade Centre was attacked and as a result it collapsed. I do not deny that this a true catastrophe, and the mortality horrific (approx. 6000 known dead, over 5000 still missing). In the aftermath millions of Americans were willing to pour money into charities for the injured and bereaved, which is obviously considerate and right. However, thousands die each year in Afghanistan of starvation, and surely this is just as great a disaster, but they go unnoticed by the most powerful country in the world and indeed by us. Is this justice? No. The fact those suffering are not in our country does not lessen their need, I certainly feel we should support overseas charities. ...read more.

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