The following is the introduction to an article by Martin Allaby, “Christianity and Control of Corruption, Past and Present”, published by the Christian Relief, Development, and Advocacy Journal Vol 1 No 2 (2020): Volume 1(2).
Corruption is widely understood to play a causal role in the persistence of global poverty. The World Bank makes this argument, as do Christian scholars such as Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros (2014) and Roberto Laver (2018). True, corruption may not be poverty’s only cause, but the important role it plays requires us to fight it. After some introductory comments about how corruption and poverty are linked, this paper outlines the World Bank’s strategy for controlling corruption, but critiques the Bank for being slow to acknowledge the lack of incentives for rulers to control corruption, or the hazards faced by champions of reform. If the World Bank is not up to the task, from whence might help come?
The paper points out that Protestant Christianity has played an important role in the past in limiting corruption and goes on to argue that at least some Protestant Christians are taking up the task of fighting against corruption today. Two such organizations are introduced, one from the Philippines and the other from Honduras. Unfortunately, we must acknowledge that Christian organizations today are not as engaged in fighting corruption as their secular counterparts. Why is that? The paper explores three reasons why Christians are not taking up the fight as they should, and concludes with a call to Christians everywhere to take the Bible seriously and to get involved.