Jesus said the poor would always be with us, and he was right. Scores of impoverished people have inhabited this globe, suffering from multiple hardships.
But there is evidence that extreme poverty — the estimated 1.4 billion people in countries outside the US who do not have access to clean water, enough food, sufficient clothing and shelter, or basic medicine like antibiotics — has declined globally over the past 30 years from 52 percent to 21 percent though up to 85 percent of Americans remain unaware.
Factors contributing to the improvement include capitalism and evangelical missions. As recently as 2014, private sources contributed $404.9 billion to the Third World while government responses equaled $177.6 billion, according to The Spectator. Sociologist Robert Woodberry has produced strong empirical evidence that evangelical missions dating back to the 1800s planted not just churches, but also stable governments and free enterprise.
Much of the poverty decline has happened on a micro level as change has occurred to one family at a time. Gospel for Asia (GFA) has specialized in this approach to empowerment by providing resources like livestock and even sewing machines.
Barna Research does note that Christians express more optimism than the general public about ending extreme poverty, with the most optimism existing among Christians under 40 years old.
Pray that extreme poverty around the world would come to an end.
The article above is a summary of information of these articles:
Christian Science Monitor: Progress in the global war on poverty
Compassion International: Seeing With New Eyes
Christianity Today: The Surprising Discovery About Those Colonialist, Proselytizing Missionaries
Editor’s Note: MissionsBox is managed and edited by Gospel for Asia