Faith: Have we forgotten the poor?




“Don’t lose hope.” That’s the message from international child development charity Compassion UK as a survey finds less than half (49%) of UK adults believe it is possible to end extreme poverty worldwide. This number was only slightly higher for Christians, 59%, and only 58% of Christians thought that eradicating extreme poverty is a priority for the world currently.

On International Day for the Eradication of Poverty the statistics point to an urgent need for action. COVID-19 posed a huge setback to poverty-reducing efforts and the rapid decrease in extreme poverty rates in recent years has stopped. We are going backwards. If trends persist, an alarming 575 million people will still be living in extreme poverty by the end of the decade. Currently, nearly 10% of the world’s populations are living below the poverty line at $2.15 per day.

Mark Preston (pictured above) is Compassion UK’s Senior Director of Partnerships, he said: “We need hope to drive our fight against poverty. In fact, it’s more important than ever not to lose hope, while COVID has put a spanner in the works of poverty eradication, now is the time we need to take action to make sure this setback isn’t permanent. Here at Compassion, we believe the church has a crucial role to play in addressing extreme poverty and we’re encouraged by the impact right now. There is a transformative and exponential impact in a locally-led approach. This gives us hope in the fight against poverty.”

Compassion UK is urging Christians to take hope in the initiatives being driven by local churches in some of the world’s poorest countries. For example, Compassion’s 8,500 partner churches are providing opportunities to children and young people that will lift them out of poverty and change the future of these communities.

Preston explained: “The church hasn’t forgotten the poor. In fact, far from it, God’s church is His hands and feet to tackle poverty. Our UK church partners are addressing poverty in their own communities through food banks and warm spaces and also standing shoulder to shoulder with the church across the world, supporting them financially and through prayer.”

To learn more about locally-led initiatives lifting people out of poverty, go to:

Main Photo Credit: Courtesy of Compassion UK

Sorted Staff Writer


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