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Religion and Development

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Vulnerable Youth, New Life Stories and Faith-Based Organizations

image of Mission Studies

AbstractChristian churches across the world have long engaged in humanitarian assistance and diaconal work. Diaconal action, understood as integral to the church’s mission in today’s world, is conditioned and challenged by concrete contexts. In order to be relevant, diakonia requires a careful reading of the contexts. This article presents life histories of three individuals who live in Madagascar. The stories relate how living in a world of poverty and need, humiliation and lack of safety provides many challenges relating to the fulfillment of needs and creating decent living conditions. The stories also tell of lives where many have met Christian individuals and institutions that give priority to the task of upholding human dignity. My aim has been to shed light on the meaning of diaconal work has for these young people and how new opportunities and challenges are creating new life stories and changes in their experience of human dignity. The objective has also been to describe the added value that religion and Christian organizations provide to the secular development project.

Affiliations: 1: The School of Mission and


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