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Can religion make economic growth more fair?

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MessagePosté le: Lun 20 Nov - 09:29 (2017)    Sujet du message: Can religion make economic growth more fair? Répondre en citant

Rising income inequality contributes to social and political unrest, threatening our economic future and general wellbeing.

While it is clear that social problems will increase if economic growth benefits a small minority, there is very little concrete analysis of how different sectors of society contribute to the goal of inclusive growth. The need for better analysis is reflected in the World Economic Forum’s new programme to benchmark progresstoward economic growth and social inclusion.

This blog is part of series on the way faith interacts with tough global challenges, from inclusive growth to gender parity to climate change.
Why is the faith factor important to consider? First, because religious adherence is on the rise, as is clearly seen in recent research on religious demographics.
Second, because religion is often ignored. In fact, religion plays both negative and positive roles in relation to inclusive growth. On the one hand, religion-related hostilities, prejudices and biases can lock people out and inhibit inclusive growth. On the other, religious organisations have a tremendous capacity for doing good, with most religious groups being known for their programs to address poverty and/or care for the poor (for example, earlier this year global religious and faith-based leaders convened at the World Bank to call for and commit to ending extreme poverty by 2030).

Beyond poverty alleviation, research also shows that when freedom of religion or belief (including interfaith and intercultural understanding) accompanies the rise of faith, the peaceful conditions necessary for inclusive growth are often strengthened.
The faith factor in inclusive growth is a complex topic which is only just beginning to be analysed. This post aims to help get the discussion started by offering a look at Christianity, while recognizing that other religions can also play an important role in inclusive growth. We invite specialists in other faith traditions to join the discussion. For instance, almsgiving, one of the five pillars of Islam, is widely practiced by Muslims worldwide according to a Pew Research survey of 38,000 Muslims.
“An economy that excludes kills”
“An economy that excludes kills.” With these words, Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagel, who was recently elected head of Caritas International, challenged business leaders in the Philippines to address poverty.
Speaking at the 39th annual Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development, he exhorted them to include the poor in their vision and mission statements, in deciding what goods to produce and services to provide, and as part of their strategic plans.
Christian groups and organisations approach inclusive growth in a number of different ways, according to their different theologies. The largest Christian church, the Roman Catholic Church, emphasizes the importance of social justice and alleviating poverty.

Meanwhile, Tagel was echoing the sentiment of Pope Francis. Speaking in Bolivia at the World Meeting of Popular Movements in July, the pontiff said that the first of three great tasks demanding decisive action is to “put the economy at the service of people. Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. Let us say NO to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys Mother Earth.”

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