"We affirm God's option for the poor
The poor are the exploited and oppressed. Their poverty is not accidental. It is very often a result of deliberate policies which result in the constantly increasing accumulation of wealth and power in the hands of a few. The existence of poverty is a scandal and a crime. It is blasphemy to say that it is the will of God. Jesus came that we should have "life in all its fullness" (John 10:10). In his death and resurrection, Christ exposed and thereby conquered the powers that deny the poor their right to abundant life (Luke 4:16-21). God shows a preferential option for the poor. "The glory of God is reflected in the poor person fully alive" (Archbishop Romero). In the cries of the poor we hear the challenging voice of God.
Those whom society treats as "the least" are described by Jesus as his sisters and brothers (Matthew 25:31-46). While we support the need for diaconal services and urgent response to emergencies, we recognize in our time that the needs of "the least" can only be met by fundamentally transforming the world economy through structural change. Charity and aid projects alone cannot meet the needs and protect the dignity of the world's poorest billion people of whom women and children are the majority. The solution to the debt crisis can only be found through a just, equitable world economic order and not in palliative measures like the re-scheduling of debts.
We affirm God's preferential option for the poor and state that as Christians our duty is to embrace God's action in the struggles of the poor in the liberation of us all.
We will resist all forces, policies and institutions which create and perpetuate poverty or accept it as inevitable and ineradicable.
We commit ourselves to be allies of those organizations and efforts which are dedicated to achieving the eradication of exploitation and oppression."
World Convocation on Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation Seoul 1990, Affirmation II
See more in the "House of Studies":
Secular efforts to overcome poverty:
World Summit on Social Development, Copenhagen 1995:
UN-server on Copenhagen 1995:
2001 Report on the World Social Situation
Introduction and overview
Structural issues are worldwide tackled by the NGO Attac
A recommended NGO
monitoring implementation of the world governments' commitments to eradicate poverty and achieve gender equity is
Social Watch (Uruguay)
You can find here the following Social Watch country reports for:
Churches in the USA
Christian churches in the USA join in the "Mobilization against Poverty", a collaborative venture of the National Council of Churches in the USA, its 36 member communions, their 140,000 congregations, regional ecumenical and interfaith organizations, and faith-inspired ministry partners