- Your church might lose money
An African Christian told me ‘a pastor who knows that a wealthy member of their congregation got their wealth through corruption will be reluctant to preach against it, because they know that wealthy member can move to another church that won’t make them feel uncomfortable’.
- You might be accused of hypocrisy
Many Christians I have interviewed admit to problems of corruption within churches. It has been estimated that USD 50 billion per annum may be stolen from money that Christians give to churches, para-church organizations, and secular organizations around the world.
- You might be killed
Among the 100 people I interviewed about fighting corruption, three were survivors of assassination attempts. Jovita Salonga, former President of the Philippine Senate, was critically injured in a bomb attack after conducting enquiries into government corruption. David Gitari, former Anglican Archbishop of Kenya, survived an attempted lynching after campaigning against electoral abuses. Another African church leader described a drive-by shooting after he refused to support the President’s PR campaign.
- You might lose your job
An Asian Christian who worked as a tax official described what happened after he decided to stop asking for bribes. He longer had bribe money to pass up to his boss, so he was punished by being transferred to a remote region with no schooling for his children.
- It takes too long
Although there are exceptions, such as Singapore, commentators observe that real improvements in the control of corruption typically take one or two generations.
- It is difficult to evaluate impact
Even when measures of corruption improve, as happened with Transparency International’s CPI score for the Philippines in the context of substantial anti-corruption efforts by Christians, it is hard to prove cause and effect.
- It is better to start a development project instead
Not only can you avoid all the problems above, but the beneficiaries of your project will be grateful, and if you get donor funding you can create jobs for local Christians.