Wealth distribution in our modern day society is independent of religious bodies and this is troubling because religion is one of the most effective ways of bringing people together irrespective of their class, age or gender. If one should walk into a church, mosque or any other place of worship, you will find a congregation made up of skilled and unskilled labor, artisans and scholars and more importantly people who lack a lot of basic necessities.
“There was no needy person among them for from time to time those who lands or houses had sold them, brought the money from the sales to the feet of the apostles and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” Acts 4:34 (NIV)
No, I’m not going to ask you to sell your property and send the proceeds to your place of worship. But I believe there is a lot that we ought to learn from this scripture.
To begin with, a congregation can cater for the needs of all of its members. I’m not downplaying class and income of people but it is truly possible to meet everyone’s needs and the emphasis is on needs. For instance if one decides to build a house, he has the skills and expertise of artisans such as masons and carpenters in the congregation at his disposal. When these artisans are hired they will earn wages which will be spent by purchasing items from traders in the congregation. The cycle can go on and on.
I will admit that it is not as easy as it sounds. People can’t let go of their egos and also people try to gain more than they should from their fellow congregants. For instance people tend to demand for more discount than necessary while others also over charge for goods and services.
What we need is a change of mindset and also to restructure our religious bodies in order to help all who adhere to their teachings, for it is sad to see congregations contribute money for the establishment of schools and other social amenities and when those facilities are completed eighty percent of them can’t even afford them.
The religious organization in a community is an untapped means for the reduction of poverty and inequality and the time has come for religious bodies to put structures and policies in place to cater for the welfare of the people.

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