This still refers to the material perspective on poverty. It is obvious that a distinction should be made between relative and extreme poverty (Geremek 1994:3). Man is not only matter, but spirit as well. It must however be stated clearly that religious affiliation does not determine moral quality. Lastly, it is the responsibility of religion to alleviate poverty. It still does not change the existential effects of poverty. When investigating society, we are therefore investigating ourselves. Firstly, religion can redirect human attention to that which ought to be an ultimate concern. Traditionally the end to poverty was seen as introducing development programmes (Hershock n.d.:33). In the case of poverty it might be difficult to identify any positive effects on human existence. First time logging in? Compassion and Compassion International are Registered Trademarks of In some religious traditions poverty is seen as 'deservedly' so (Geremek 1994:6). For the underprivileged or disprivileged classes of society their need for salvation finds expression in various forms of religion (Weber 1966:108). Freedom to exist carefree is an asset. Nobody should look down on the poor with disdain (Geremek 1994:5) as if the poor is inferior or lesser human beings. The faith-based communities should however, according to Olupona (2009:xviii), maintain their prophetic calling by continuously commenting on global financial policies and must express a discomfort with unjust policies to the trade and industry community. Calvinism is the seedbed for capitalism (Weber 2003:43). The degree of poverty is culturally determined. 800-336-7676 Poverty will persist as the inability to meet one's own needs (Hershock n.d:36). A feeling of dependence amongst the oppressed and the poor, increases religious activities. Christians were the largest religious group in the world in 2015, making up nearly a third (31 percent) of Earth’s 7.3 … Hoffenberg (eds. Peculiarly enough poverty, according to Geremek (1994:11), contributed to the development of capitalism and simultaneously poverty resulted from capitalism. It led to the notion that all material matter is there only to sustain the human body, the consequence being that the perception is created that there is no intrinsic value in matter. The perspective provided by sociology furthermore plays an important role in this study. Religion can motivate people to engage actively in participating in activities alleviating poverty. Poverty refers to the absence of sufficient sustenance to maintain a complete life. ix-xxiii, Duke University Press, Durham. In 2015, harassment of Christians, either by government or social groups, was found in 108 of 195 countries; Muslims were harassed in 125 countries and harassment of Jews was found in 74countries. Compare Matthew 5:3 emphasising the blessing the poor will receive because they realise their dependence on God as they have no one else to take care of them. Societies can reconstruct value systems. To have only one fish to eat per day might be considered extremely poor in certain communities, but in some instances one fish per day can be seen as true abundance. According to the same study it was found that adherents under the classification Irreligion or other religions hold about 34.8% of the total global wealth. Who couldn’t use one inspiring, positive photo and story to brighten their week? The fact of the matter is that many religions connect human material and spiritual existence. These pitfalls should be kept in mind when religions attempt to alleviate poverty. food, education, medical treatment, self-provision, non-access to credit, powerlessness, violence, poor sanitation, etc.). Religion reminds humans of human nature, to seek selflessly the benefit of others. Galston & P.H. Firstly, religion can redirect human thought to spiritual concerns, focusing on spiritual poverty instead of material concerns. The share of countries with high or very high government restrictions on religion – i.e., laws, policies and actions that restrict religious beliefs and practices – was 25 percent in 2015.

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