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PovertyCure Series Part 3: Justice for the Poor

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Newman Centre

89 Saint George Street

Toronto, ON M5S 2E8

Canada

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The poor often lack the property rights and rule of law that would free them to pursue opportunities and escape poverty. They lack justice. The church should focus on this problem even though it rarely provides photo ops or quick fixes. This is not a call to a fleeting development fad. The Bible provides a strong foundation for property rights and the rule of law, and insists that human legal systems should protect every class of society, not just for the rich or well-connected. As the prophet Amos says, “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a neverfailing stream” (NIV).


PovertyCure is an initiative of the Acton Institute that seeks to ground the battle against local and global poverty in a proper understanding of the human person and society, and to encourage solutions that foster opportunity and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that already fills poverty-stricken areas of the developed and developing world alike.

In an age of instant global media, great strides have been made in raising awareness about the problem of extreme poverty. This has sparked a growth in short-term mission campaigns, private charities, social entrepreneurship, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as tens of thousands of people have contributed money, vacation time, and whole careers to working with the poor. At the same time, during the past 60 years, the developed world has sent trillions of dollars in assistance to poor countries.

Many of these efforts have done tremendous good. Unfortunately, some have not had the positive effects that were hoped for. This begs a fundamental question: How do we connect our desire to help with strategies that actually work? This is what we set out to explore in the PovertyCure Series.

One of PovertyCure’s key themes is the dignity and creative capacity of the human person created in the image of God. Understanding this is the foundation for everything we will explore, and it directly connects with a primary goal of the series—to recover and illuminate the Christian tradition’s rich treasury of resources for helping the
poor thrive.

We explore the moral, theological, and economic foundations that allow people to create prosperity and get out of poverty, and do so in clear terms illustrated with stories by and about people who live and work in some of the world’s poorest regions.

The goal throughout is to develop both hearts and minds for the poor.

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Newman Centre

89 Saint George Street

Toronto, ON M5S 2E8

Canada

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