Poverty in the United States affects about 1 in 10 people despite them living in one of the richest countries in the world, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2014 annual poverty report released Wednesday.
According to data from the Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014 report, the nation's official poverty rate in 2014 was 14.8 percent, compared to 14.5 percent in 2013, meaning 46.7 million people were living in poverty last year compared to 45.3 in 2013. The U.S. government defines poverty based on annual household income and takes into account the household size. The median household income in the United States in 2014 fell slightly to $53,657 from $54,462 in 2013. The weighted average poverty threshold per individual during that same year was $12,071; $15,379 for two people; $18,850 for a family of three; and $24,230 for a family of four.
The Christian Post recently spoke with leading Christian non-profit organizations to find out how followers of Jesus Christ are working to eradicate poverty in America. more >>
In 1993, freelance photojournalist Kevin Carter from South Africa went to cover the civil strife in famine stricken Sudan. After his flight touched down in the village of Ayod, Carter captured an iconic image of a starving little girl, her face and body bowed low in the dirt, with a vulture in the background waiting for her to die. The emaciated toddler was struggling to find enough energy to get to a United Nations feeding center.
Carter said he had heard the child whimpering when he had wandered into the open bush. He confessed that after coming upon the scene he was careful not to frighten away the bird. Instead he waited for 20 minutes, hoping the vulture would spread his wings for the perfect shot. Still, the picture he got would win him a Pulitzer Prize.
The photo, which was first published in the New York Times resulted in a surprising public reaction. Hundreds of people wrote in wanting to know what had happened to the child, and queried as to whether Carter had done anything to help the youngster. The paper reported that what happened to the child was not fully known, prompting many to severely criticize Carter for staying aloof of the situation and not doing anything to help. more >>
A diverse group of clergy and legal experts sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to keep a rule allowing religious organizations with government grants to maintain hiring practices consistent with their religious beliefs.
Sent to the White House on Thursday, the letter pleads that President Obama reject calls by many progressive organizations to bar federal grants to religious organizations that use religious affiliation as a parameter for employment.
The letter was organized by the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance and signed by liberals and conservatives, religious leaders and religious freedom experts. For instance, Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Ron Sider, president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action; and Douglas Laycock, Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia Law School, were among the 69 signers. more >>
Political responses to crises are often tardy and embarrassingly fad-driven, as with the current global outcry over the image of a three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on the Turkish shore. He was hardly the first innocent victim of this century's most brutal war. Where has the world been for the last 54 months?
Indeed, the unfolding humanitarian crisis was an entirely foreseeable consequence of Obama's spineless Syria policy, and the Western European leaders who followed it. So, despite Obama's efforts to anesthetize the public, it is understandable if some collective shame for Western failures — driven by tragic images that went viral — has prompted Europe suddenly to announce that it will accept more refugees from the war-torn Middle East.
But how did the West become more responsible for the Mideast refugee crisis than the wealthiest Mideast states (whose funding of Islamist rebels helped to create that crisis)? According to news reports and think tanks, Arab Gulf donors have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Syria in recent years, including to ISIS and other groups. more >>
Pope Francis has urged every Catholic parish and religious community in Europe to take in at least one refugee family and help Europe with its migrant crisis, noting that the Vatican would take two families itself. With hundreds of thousands of refugees making their way toward Western Europe, countries such as Germany and Austria are said to be near the "tipping point" of how much they can help.
"May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family" Francis told the crowds at St. Peter's Square on Sunday.
"Before the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing death in conflict and hunger and are on a journey of hope, the Gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned," he added, according to Vatican Radio. more >>
Seven years ago, Spencer Nee was homeless and battling alcohol addiction in Denver, Colorado. Today he's sober after finding Jesus and now leads a national cause designed to help others facing similar ordeals.
In 2007, an estimated 3.5 million people (1.3 million of them being children) were likely to experience homelessness in a given year, according to a study by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Many of these people were just like Nee, ordinary Americans who somehow lost their way — although for Nee it was a battle with drugs and alcoholism that led to his struggles.
"I was in a really terrifying place seven years ago," Nee told The Christian Post. "I was homeless and drinking about half a gallon of vodka a day. I had lost my relationships with my friends and family and was pretty much completely alone. I had lost all hope. I couldn't keep a job … my day was centered around not getting sick. I would start getting sick if I didn't have enough alcohol." more >>