This will be short.
I just want to ask you a question.
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Last week, I had lunch with a wealthy foreigner.
How wealthy? He was earning two million dollars a month. (I’m not kidding.) He was in the Philippines visiting our smaller islands.
“So how did you like your visit?” I asked him.
“I loved it,” he said, “I have never met a more polite, more courteous, nicer people than the Filipinos.”
“Thank you,” I beamed.
But then he frowned. “Bo, I also noticed how religious Filipinos are. I saw the tricycles with signs, saying, “God loves you” and “John 3:16”. There is so much God in your country. And yet there is so much poverty.”
That hurt because it’s so true.
His question reminded me about my visit to Vietnam a month before—and how disturbed I felt.
There’s not much God in that country. It’s been a communist country for decades. But the economy is exploding. And according to statistics, poverty has gone down by a huge 60%! Can you believe that?
One reason: Foreign investments.
Last year, the Philippine’s foreign investments reached a measly $2.5B.
In Vietnam last year, their foreign investments reached $15B.
And do you know what happened this year? From January to July 2008, foreign investments in Vietnam already reached $33B!
Look at China. Another “godless” nation. But poverty has gone down as well. And they’re now poised to be the next Superpower of the world.
Look at Japan. Only 2% of its population is Christian. Many of them don’t even have any religion. Yet their economy has been thriving for decades.
But look at a few South American countries. Like the Philippines, there’s a lot of religion and poverty there too.
So here are my questions:
· Why so much God and poverty in our country?
· Does a certain brand of religion cause poverty?
· Or am I missing something here?
Share me your thoughts below.
Tell me what you think.
Next week, I’ll give you my thoughts.
May your dreams come true,
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