World Bank Sees Need for Religion in Fight Against Poverty

New Book Urges Collaboration With Development Groups

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WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 25, 2004 ( A book recently published by the World Bank emphasizes the need for religions and development organizations to collaborate in the struggle against poverty.

The book, «Mind, Heart, and Soul in the Fight Against Poverty,» states: «The relationship between the world of faith and development to combat poverty and struggle for social justice seems natural. However, the links between the two worlds have been fragile, intermittent and at times confrontational.»

In the prologue, World Bank President James Wolfensohn points out: «When development institutions have recognized the common points between their work and that of religious organizations, they have succeeded in uniting efforts and obtaining remarkable results.»

He adds that he hopes the book will lead to «new ways of partnerships to combat problems.»

The volume, edited by Katherine Marshall and Lucy Keough, both of the World Bank, is the fruit of two years of work in which a team made an inventory list of experiences of faith and cooperation with development entities.

Marshall, director of the Development, Dialogue on Values and Ethics sector of the World Bank, is well known in international meetings such as the ones promoted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the Vatican.

Among the cases studied is that of the Community of Sant’Egidio, a Rome-based lay group, and its role of mediation in Mozambique and Albania.

The World Bank is an international institution for reconstruction and development located in Washington, D.C.

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