Poverty: the desolation of desperation
Reports from a number of countries show that desperate poverty is at the root of some conversions to religions like Islam. In Malaysia, where tribal groups have been displaced because of development projects and have not received their promised compensation, Muslim groups are making inroads by bringing material help. On the basis of this material help people area accepting Islam.
The story is repeated in other nations, and not just for those being influenced by Islam. The cost of displacing people, turning their subsistence existence into desperate survival, in order to build dams, remove natural vegetation for high value cash crop farming, roads, industrial expansion, is high. People are barely surviving as they enter into deeper degrees of poverty.
There is the injustice of displacement and failure to adequately compensate and help them develop new living skills. They are abandoned and forgotten. Religious groups find desperation a great vehicle for conversion, and when help is tied to conversion the end result in inevitable. Or is it?
Pray for people groups across Asia and the Arab World who are victims of development, abandoned and struggling to survive. Pray for their protection in this vulnerability, for those who will speak and advocate for them, restoring their dignity. Pray for God to graciously meet them as the Church catches a vision to advocate on behalf of and care for them.