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Poverty and the Fight Against Corruption

Author: Roberto Laver
Date: 29.09.2010
Category: Scripture Engagement, Integrity and Anti-Corruption, Poverty and Wealth

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Originally Posted in English

I would like to suggest that the Christian church in general, and evangelicals in particular, are not paying enough attention to, and addressing, the problem of corruption as a main contributor to, among other things, poverty, inequity and injustice worldwide. As Bryant Myers and others have argued, poverty results from relationships that do not work, that are dysfunctional and oppressive. Corruption, particularly when it is endemic, is an expression of a severe dysfunctional relationship in society (particularly in regard to the relationship between the state and society).  International development agencies recognize that corruption is the main obstacle to political, economic and social development. While there are major flaws in the secular “anti-corruption” agenda, it is quite significant that the issue has been elevated to the top of the international development discourse.  Yet, the church appears to be lagging behind in this fight against corruption despite its enormous moral and social justice proportions. Of course, this is not an easy challenge. The issue is extremely complex and sensitive. Yet there are many ways in which the evangelical church, by itself or in partnership with others, can potentially play a stronger role including advocacy and Scripture engagement. My hope is that this issue will become a mission priority. For reference, I’m attaching an article I’ve written on this subject.   

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Keywords: poverty, justice, corruption

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PhContributeBy
Reply Flag 0 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down japhia1906 (0)
United States

Corruption is like a tick on a dog. It’s a parasite that trys to attach itself to every good mission and every good work. Wherever there is a power structure adn finances corruption will be lurking nearby. One key is to deal with corruption issues before they arise, in the strategic planning phase. Many don’t look at safeguards until after an incident has taken place.


28.11.2011
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Reply Flag 0 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down johnboy (0)
United States

That’s going to take a lot of prayer, because until church stop dependinging on the worldto fund its mission projects. We are going to remine blind to corruption.


31.10.2011
PhContributeBy
Reply Flag 0 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down friar58 (1)
United States

Part of the reason (at least for the church in the West) is that we do not see corruption quite as openly as in other areas of the world.  So it can be an "out of site out of mind" mentality.  But there is also the part of us that ignores things that are wrong, hoping they will go away.  It’s sad, and we’re guilty.  Thank you for bring this to light.


21.04.2011
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Reply Flag 0 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Martin_Allaby (0)
United Kingdom

I share your view that we are not paying enough attention to, and addressing, the problem of corruption as a contributor to poverty, inequity and injustice. I’d like to suggest two obstacles to Evangelicals playing a stronger role, and one opportunity.

First, the obstacles. In 2007/08 I interviewed Evangelical leaders in Kenya & Zambia (mainly Protestant) and the Philippines & Peru (mainly Catholic) about the relationship between Evangelicals and corruption. They did not regard Evangelicals as particularly effective in opposing corruption, but for reasons that differed across the four countries. Evangelicals in the two mainly Protestant countries have lost their moral authority, partly through being compromised by the state. Evangelicals in the two mainly Catholic countries have a reputation for honest behaviour, but are seen as too detached from society to have much impact on corruption.

The opportunity occurs when Evangelicals who work within the state are encouraged to apply Christian ethics in their public role. I’ve seen some great examples of this in the Philippines, where senior military figures who are Christians have used their influence to reduce corruption, restrain extra-judicial killings and facilitate fair elections. This approach certainly has its pitfalls, but I think it could be multiplied to good effect. I’d love to dialogue with you on this subject.


26.10.2010

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United States

PhContributeBy RobertoLaver
 
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Country: United States

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