Religion and Development: a Case Study of the Role of Faith-Based Organisations in Poverty Reduction Strategy of Liberia (2008-2011)
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This master thesis seeks to explore the role of Faith-Based Organisations in poverty reduction strategy in the Liberian society. In this study, the role of each Fait- Based Organization sampled is thoroughly investigated with the purpose of uncovering or revealing the role played during the poverty reduction programs and how those programs and or projects have varied over the period from 2008-2011. I also did an in-depth, and critical analysis of the role of Faith Based Organizations and their contributions to development in general and in particular to poverty reducing activities with the below main research question directing and guiding the entire study: What role did Faith-Based Organisations play during the Poverty Reduction Strategy of Liberia (2008-2011)? While exploring the role of Faith-Based Organisations in poverty reduction strategy of Liberia, I find it very useful to make use of the theories on the role of religion in development and the secularisation thesis, both speak to key and important aspects about the subject being discussed. The study reveals that, the role of Faith-Based Organisations was implicitly excluded from the poverty reduction strategy of Liberia. It would be logical to think that, this implicit exclusion as indicated in the findings might be based on the constitutional provision of the separation of state and religion. The study also indicated that on ground, the five sampled Faith Based Organisations contributed to the poverty reduction in two pillars namely; Infrastructure and basic social services and economic revitalization. In these pillars the Faith Based organisations emphasis on poverty reduction has been in the areas of Education, Health, Agriculture and Micro-finance. This study also explores the qualities Faith Based Organisations bring to development work or poverty reduction. As perceived by the informants, it was revealed that, Faith Based Organizations bring Trust and Transparency, FBOs understand and live in the culture of the people, FBOs Work with the Poorest at Grassroots in Liberia and FBOs are committed to service and have compassion. Furthermore, the study reveals that some Faith Based organisations are still teaching their faith to their beneficiaries.