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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Study Finds Decline in Poverty but Most Don't Believe It

  • Russ Jones
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2014 Apr 30
  • Comments

A recent poll conducted by the Barna Group finds that over the past three decades extreme poverty around the world has decreased by more than half. Despite the results of the survey, a majority of Americans believe it’s not possible to end poverty over the next 25 years.

“Though many Christians may agree that extreme poverty is a problem that requires both spiritual intervention as well as financial investment, most people do not currently see options for action beyond donating money or volunteering,” said David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group. “Most Christians do not see prayer and fasting as legitimate disciplines to address the problem of global poverty. While survey research cannot reveal causal relationships, it may be that this neglect to the spiritual responsibility of the Church to fight global poverty, in turn, affects people’s desires to give of their time and money.”

Conducted in partnership with Compassion International and the new book Hope Rising by Dr. Scott Todd, more than eight in 10 Americans (84%) are unaware global poverty has reduced so dramatically. More than two-thirds (67%) say they thought global poverty was on the rise over the past 30 years.

“I believe that God wants us to eradicate global poverty, and he has given us the necessary resources to do it,” said Todd, who is also senior vice president for global advocacy for Compassion International. “The trouble is with our theology of power. We simply do not comprehend the power within us. We are quick to say that we have no power, but that’s false humility. We can end global poverty, but only through constant prayer, leaning not on our own understanding. We are praying with our sleeves rolled up as we draft a strategy and get to work. That’s how we will end global poverty.”


Publication date: April 30, 2014