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A movement for Poor’s: Liberation theology

Christianity is the world's largest religion; with over 2.4 billion followers in the world. The religion has decades of the practice and followership and on the movement that provokes the widespread teachings of the religion is Liberation theology. This movement has its roots in Latin American Roman Catholicism and it was a rise as a response to widespread poverty and the exploitation of large segments of Latin American society. Liberation theologians believed that God speaks particularly through the poor and that the Bible can be understood only when seen from the perspective of the poor.

Concept: As per the Christianity the prophet Jesus was a poor man and by having a deep though and feeling about the poor and marginalized people he has always focused on the poor and oppressed people. Hence the movement states that any lawful/ legally established church will give preference to those who have historically been marginalized or deprived of their rights. The movement was caricatured in the phrase. ”If Jesus Christ were on Earth today, he would be a Marxist revolutionary”. In short the concept of the Liberation theology was deep rooted with the concept of the poor and social justice and well being for this deprived segment of the society. The widely seen and practiced example for this concept can be seen in priests and nuns; where they show their solidarity with the poor. In a short note they move from religious houses into poverty stricken areas to share the living conditions of the group.

Theology: 1960 era brought the change and true followers of Jesus; where they were informed about the importance of work toward a just society, bring about social and political change, and align themselves with the working class. Liberation theology could be interpreted as an attempt to return to the gospel of the early church where Christianity is politically and culturally decentralized. The philosophy behind the movement was to fight against the poverty by addressing its suspected source or called as sin. The theology explores the bonding between Roman Catholic and political activism, especially in relation to social justice, poverty, and human rights.

Criticism: Liberation technology has been into controversy as well; where the Liberationists said the church should act to bring about social change, and should assist itself with the working class to do so. Some fundamental priests were involved in politics and trade unions; others even aligned themselves with violent revolutionary movements. But most of the critics of liberation theology associate it with Marxism and see it as a religious form of failed socialist policies. Another One that often arises has to do with violence and revolution; however the issue of violence only appears in the context of institutional violence already being practiced by some governments against their own people.

Liberation theology has been going through the hard time in these recent years and it is difficult for the churches to maintain the concept and the standard for the poor people of the community. It can be considered as result of more just governments coming into power in most Latin American countries but is also a result of some excesses on the parts of some liberation theologians.

Liberation theology is still experienced in rural and middle-class villages in Latin America, and it is studied widely in seminaries as well. The importance has been drifted from the poor to those marginalized by race, ethnicity or gender; yet the concept has change, in fact the audience of the movement has changed. Now days the focus is less on supporting socialist revolution than critiquing mainstream civil society.

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