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Religion in third world development.

I have but one issue, where do our religious groupings stand when it comes to development? Are they there to shout at government to tell them what to do with money in hand or where to put it? Or could they be there to create vehicle for social mobilisation, or maybe, they could actually initiate a project of two with the community in mind. We always put Government to task about their income, what of the churches and what have you. When do they give back in tangible and sustainable dividends? Thank you

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    Feb 28 2012: There are millions living in third world developing countries who are being helped to improve their way of life through the work of volunteers in these countries. In Zambia alone, there are well over 160,000 volunteers who give of their time to help their neighbors improve their way of life.

    Creating change, one person at a time, by giving individual attention is of great benefit. Once this individual sees the benefit of helping others, it can have a wonderful domino effect in villages, towns and cities.

    Now, as far as "shouting at government".......should people who claim to follow God, and profess to live peacefully be involved in politics?

    This is a very loaded question you ask. Many people have different points of view.

    As to the other point you bring out: "We always put Government to task about their income, what of the churches and what have you"...........If churches are becoming rich and not doing anything to help the communities they serve, well then, the actual members of these particular churches should raise their voices and speak.

    However, if a congregation exists on donations, and there is no paid clergy class, and you can see where everyone volunteers their time, resources and energy to complete projects benefitting their own church, and help their neighbors as well, then they should be left alone. This is my humble opinion.

    There is not one answer to your question...... there are many different religions, and not all are living up to what they preach.

    Being a good observer, and learning to discern which groups are practicing what they preach will reveal wonderful information to you.

    Be Well.................wonderful thought provoking question, one that has many threads.....

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    Feb 28 2012: Why attach development to Religious organisations. Their focus is telling people what to believe not development.
    Let them help if they want. Community groups don't have to be religious. No need to influence Church or whatever.
    People power.
    • Feb 28 2012: I agree. Community groups don't have to be religious. But, religious groups are comprised of people and they do have the resources to help.

      People power means utilizing all the people along with all their resources. Religious groups can help, they can do their converting business later, but first and foremost, let them help too if they can.

      I suggest bringing in more than one religious group to help so that they must ensure economic stability before they can pursue their religious agendas.

      And mind you that religious groups mostly do put first social welfare before conversion.
  • Mar 4 2012: When i speak of development I want to narrow it down to Zambian solutions for Zambian problems.Religious organisations have everybody under their roofs from civil servants to politicians,from street vendors to engineers,teachers to nurses, all under one roof "The Church", I guess they should be worried about heaven rather this "stop over" country of ours. The problem with The Church is that nobody is the leader, I guess it makes sense the power the catholic church held in Europe, everybody had to listen otherwise blah blah.But here we are in a country where the vast majority of people (me included) are extreme financial handicaps and a mighty large proportion of this population has to look to the church for solace, and on any given Sunday, and at least a million of us will go and put USD $1 and pray for a better life(That's a lot of money down here). My conclusion: They simply don't care. They know they have the keys to unlock most of the unenlightened minds and yet this has been the status for I have no idea how long but I'm guessing too long

    I agree with those that say religion is what has made development so slow because it will always fragment the people further and further because of constantly diverging beliefs and convictions.Whereas if they all said "God said that the way you lead your nations is the very bench mark used to which part of heaven or hell you get." and make it as believable as the rest of the bible, we'll have a nicer world for it. I want them to come together not to hold seminars on what is wrong but to create solutions,lobby for them wherever, probably have a nice policy in place all the while preconditioning the minds masses that for a new focus a new need, a new nation and a new life and an easier path to heaven for those heading that way....Something like that.

    And thank you all for your contributions, they are very enlightening.
  • Feb 28 2012: I think that third world nations would develop a lot more quickly and in far better ways without religion. Religion seems to control people, mislead them into thinking false things such as that their religion is the one true religion. Religions limit the creativity of people, give them negative self-images. A third world nation could catapult itself to health, prosperity, happiness and other positive ways of being through a secular approach, I believe. Religion is for brainwashers and the brainwashed. People can figure out what to believe on their own through their own bodyspiritminds, experiences and just by participating in life. People do not need others to tell them what to believe. People can speak of their own beliefs and leave it at that.
    • Mar 2 2012: Again Rhona, thanks for your opinions.
  • Feb 28 2012: As a vital part of the community religious groups should play an important part in development of a country. The efforts by some to ignore or put in a corner this influence is terribly misguided. Millions of people are religious and do look to that sector of society for a word on economic conditions.
    I believe that religious groups should do two things: witness to the power of real help being applied to real problems people face daily. Truly helping with issues like poverty, hunger and illness can be a very powerful voice in a community. Secondly the religious groups do have a responsibility to say, a a part of a society, government, "you should do this is a better way." The authenticity of that voice of course comes through the first part.
    I believe this to be true of any religious group, not just Christianity. Seeing justice done is an important part of being in society.
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      Feb 28 2012: Totally disagree. What evidence do you have for saying belief is a factor in stability.
      Suicide bombers are usually believers.
      Tunisia wasn't a secular revolution.
      Libya wasn't a secular revolution.

      I think you you have the drivers for political stability totally wrong
      Also stable may mean a dictatorship. Not ideal.
      Suggest the best system is a secular democracy, with all the pillars - Fair legal systems, low corruption, minority rights etc.

      West Europe and Australia and New Zealand are the most secular and some of the most stable places.

      Believers more just... No way, not even with those of the same faith and probably worse in regards to other faiths.