Different people through out the world have different lives. This may mean some people are poorer than others and have less food and water. Christians try to help people less fortunate than themselves in many ways. Christians are taught to

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Will Smith 07/05/2007  

Religious Education Coursework

Describe the Christian teachings on the way in which believers should treat people who are less fortunate than themselves.

        Different people through out the world have different lives. This may mean some people are poorer than others and have less food and water. Christians try to help people less fortunate than themselves in many ways. Christians are taught to ‘Love thy neigh bough’ (Matthew 22:36-40). Christians believe in Agape.

        Christians like everyone else in the world has basic needs. I believe a Christians basic needs are food, water, shelter and warmth. These are vital things u need for living and without them staying alive would be almost impossible.

Peters map is a map, which has a line dividing two sections of the world. We call this the north south divide. This divide basically splits the rich and the poor. The rich north has far less people but a lot more money and the poor south has a lot more people but far less money. This is about 80%-20% both ways round. The rich countries are known as the Developed World or sometimes the first world and these countries use up three quarters of the world’s resources every year. In the Developed World, most people to live till they are at least 70. They are educated since about 16. People in the have problems with heart disease and obesity, but they also have a good health care system. In contrast the Developing World life expectancy is 50 years or below. One in seven children die before reaching the age of 5. People suffer from hunger and from malnutrition. The countries of the Developing World have do not have much power and owe large rich countries a lot of money. This makes them even poorer. Some statistics: For every 1000 people in Canada there are 221 doctors. For every 1000 people in Haiti, there are 16. A woman in the UK can expect to live to 79 years. In Bangladesh, she had expected to reach 57. Mali, in western Africa, uses only 8 litres of water for each person each day. In the UK, this amount is used every time someone flushes the toilet. World poverty is an enormous problem although people do try and help. Christians believe ‘Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy’. This means that if you show mercy to other people God will show u mercy in return. Christians also believe, ‘Treat others as you would like them to treat you’. This is the golden rule of Christianity. Stewardship is believed to be very important, ‘I am putting you in charge of the fish, the birds and all of the wild animals. Subdue the earth and rule over every living creature.’ (Genesis Chapter 18). It is a Christian’s duty to look after God’s creation, including the poor.

        In 1980, Willy Brandt, the former Chancellor of West Germany, started to look at the issue of poverty because before this time it had not been greatly looked at. Although when the report came back it described the extent of the problem, the differences between rich and poor and the reasons for these differences. These findings were put in a document called the Brandt Report. This made people think about the problems around the world and how they could help. Without the Brandt Report people would still be thinking that you have to only send food or money to poor countries in time of a crisis. The Report showed everyone that this was definitely not enough to help the poor around. People realised that something long term had to be done before the problem got worse and unsolvable.  Although things may have seemed as though they might start getting better but things have now got even worse. ‘Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy and drive out demons.’ Jesus said that these were the two greatest commandments. Christians must love and obey God and care for his creation. This means that people less fortunate than them should be looked and they should help problems like the Brandt Report. The poor were shown to have a special place with God. Looking at his disciples, he said ‘blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.’ (Luke 6: 20-21). Another parable told by Jesus is the parable of the rich man. ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ (Luke 16: 19-31). It tells you that if you don’t help someone you will be sent to hell and have a bad time.

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        There are many causes of poverty but many people believe one of the main reasons why poorer countries stay poor is because of the size of their families. The worlds population is growing rapidly especially in developing counties. If these countries had smaller families feeding them would be a lot easier. This may sound simple but it’s not the case. Poor families can’t survive if they are just small families. They need people to help with crops and they also provide them with extra labour. In developing countries there is no state of pension so children are expected to look ...

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