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Wealth and Poverty

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Introduction

Wealth and Poverty summary notes Causes of hunger Poverty and disease * Inequality between rich west and poor developing /third world * Developing countries have poor water and food supplies / poor healthcare and education /huge national debts often to western countries / often suffer extreme weather and natural disaster * Many argue that exploitation through colonialism in the past and by multi-national corporations contributes to poverty Christian teaching about concern for the poor * Care for poor was central to Jesus teaching and his example * His two greatest commandments commanded love for God and love for neighbour * Old Testament law instructed people to leave crops in fields for the poor to gather * Old Testament prophets encouraged justice and fair treatment of poor especially widows and orphans * Jesus claimed he came to bring 'good news to the poor.' * The Roman Catholic Church teaches Christians to have a 'bias towards the poor,' because the Bible seems to show God being on the side of the poor. ...read more.

Middle

Christian teaching about moral and immoral occupations * Christianity has no rules on types of acceptable job however: * Christians would avoid making money in ways that exploit the poor or which involve sinful activities * They would avoid investing or working in prostitution, pornography, the tobacco industry and the arms industry. * Doctors and nurses would avoid involvement in abortion * Christians would also avoid gambling and investments which involve excessive risk * Christians often choose caring professions such as teaching, nursing, medicine or those jobs which help others in charities, the environment and social work in order to follow the example of Jesus. In whatever job they do, they will try to be a light representing Jesus. The Bible calls them ambassadors of God. * Liberation theology grew up in S. America and encourages workers to challenge oppression and injustice in the workplace / industry etc. It calls this - structural sin. Muslim teaching about concern for the poor and use of money * Mohammad taught that spiritual gain was more important than material gain when he challenged the greedy and selfish traders and merchants in Mecca ...read more.

Conclusion

Surah 5 * Muslims may donate to or campaign for or volunteer for these kinds to charities. * Charity should be given privately not to show off. Moral and Immoral occupations * Some occupations are forbidden by the Quran * Any activity which involves earning money through interest (riba) is Haram * 'That which ye lay out for increase through the property of others, will have no increase with Allah' Surah 30 * This means involvement with banking and mortgages needs to be done in a way consistent with Shariah * People in debt should be treated sympathetically * All forms of gambling and lotteries are also forbidden * This makes receiving charity raised through lotteries difficult for Muslims * Any work which involves the alcohol or sex industry is forbidden - they are seen as the work of Satan (surah 5) * Muslims are encouraged to put work into perspective by following the pillars of Salah prayer and Sawm - fasting during Ramadan. * Islam does not have a day of rest but Muslims should try to stop work and attend the Mosque for noon prayers on a Friday Salat-ul-Jumu'ah ...read more.

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