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06 July 2015

Less than half of Christians think poverty is being made history

Less than half of Christians think poverty is being made history

Only 42 per cent of churchgoers think that poverty is being made history, according to a survey conducted in April by Alliance member Compassion UK.

The research, collected from the 1,096 UK adults who stated they attended church at least once a month, found that just 42 per cent agreed that significant progress had been made towards eliminating global poverty in the last 10 years.

The same proportion disagreed, with 12 per cent stating that they strongly disagreed.

Ian Hamilton, chief executive of Compassion UK, believes that real progress can be seen in the work they are doing. "Enormous strides have been made in the fight against poverty," he said.

"Globally, child mortality rates have halved since the Millennium Development Goals were set in 1990, as has chronic malnutrition. More children are going to school and in many regions, girls are getting the same opportunities as boys".

Compassion has made undeniable progress, with 1.6 million children attending its church-based projects in 26 of the world's poorest countries. Independent research by Dr. Bruce Wydick, professor of economics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, found that children sponsored by Compassion stay in education longer than their peers, as well as being more likely to have a white-collared job or become a leader in their community.

However, despite the mission's belief that extreme poverty can be overthrown in this generation, Compassion agrees that they still have a long way to go.

With one billion people still living in extreme poverty, Hamilton explained how it is "critical that the Church is not discouraged, but instead recognises the power it has to break the hold of poverty".

The charity feels that finding sponsors for the most vulnerable children in the community is vital for combatting poverty. Following a Unicef report that highlighted this need, Hamilton said: "We know that by providing for their core needs and laying foundations in their life to enable them to grow into independent young people, they will go on to lead their communities and pave the way for transformation."

While charities such as Compassion have undeniably improved the lives of people living in poverty, there is a lot of progress still to be made. To find out more, or make a donation, visit http://www.compassionuk.org/.