COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 2, 2014) – Findings in a new research study conducted on behalf of Compassion International by Barna Group suggest that younger Christians, under 40, are less concerned about the global poor than older Christians, over 40. Findings also show that 48% of young Christians are optimistic that global poverty can be eliminated while older Christians tend to be more pessimistic.
“Our findings show that poverty is not strictly a young person’s cause. Older adults give more, express similar (or greater) levels of concern about the issue and consciously connect giving with their faith,” said David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group. “On the other hand, younger Christians are more hopeful about a future in which extreme poverty has been eliminated and say they’d be more likely to donate to a church that supports ending global poverty. At a time when we are often pointing out the difference between generations, serving the poor is an issue that spans generations. Older and younger Christians can find common ground on this desire.”
Christians, of all ages, are much more likely than the general population to express concern over global poverty. While only 16% of all U.S. adults say they are “extremely concerned” about global poverty, the number jumps to nearly three in ten (28%) among practicing Protestants and 26% among practicing Catholics.
“Now is the time for the Church to bridge the generational gap between low expectations and apathetic ideals and mobilize young and old alike in a movement that will eradicate extreme global poverty,” said Scott C. Todd, senior vice president for global advocacy for Compassion International. “Christians can live in a world where children do not die of preventable causes such as dirty water. Whether it is lack of hope or lack of resources, the evidence shows that we can in fact eliminate poverty by simply determining to do so.”
Dr. Todd’s new book, Hope Rising: How Christians Can End Extreme Poverty in This Generation, provides compelling evidence that extreme global poverty can be eliminated and inspires Christians to unite around the goal to end extreme global poverty in their lifetime. Hope Rising is due for release by Thomas Nelson on April 29, 2014.
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About Compassion International
Compassion International is the world's leading authority in child sponsorship. Compassion revolutionized the fight against global poverty by equipping the Church to develop children out of poverty to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults. It is the only child sponsorship program to be validated through independent, empirical research. Today, Compassion partners with more than 6,000 Christian churches in 26 countries to release more than 1.4 million babies, children and students from poverty in Jesus' name. Compassion has been awarded the highest rating for financial stewardship and transparency for 12 consecutive years by Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator. For more information on the ministry, visit compassion.com or follow us on Twitter at @compassion.