December 20, 2010
Visualize World Corruption
Check out this very disturbing interactive map about world corruption, produced by Transparency International. It ranks countries on a scale of 1-10 according to the perceptions of country experts. The top (least corrupt) countries are Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore, while at the bottom are Somalia are Myanmar and Afghanistan.
Here’s a summary of recent trends from Transparancy.org:
More than 20 countries have reported significant increases in petty bribery since 2006. The biggest increases were in Chile, Colombia, Kenya, FYR Macedonia, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Senegal and Thailand. More than one in two people in Sub-Saharan Africa reported paying a bribe – more than anywhere else in the world.
Poorer people are twice as likely to pay bribes for basic services, such as education, than wealthier people. A third of all people under the age of 30 reported paying a bribe in the past 12 months, compared to less than one in five people aged 51 years and over.
Most worrying is the fact that bribes to the police have almost doubled since 2006, and more people report paying bribes to the judiciary and for registry and permit services than five years ago.
Sadly, few people trust their governments or politicians. Eight out of 10 say political parties are corrupt or extremely corrupt, while half the people questioned say their government’s action to stop corruption is ineffective.
The data comes from thirteen independent surveys, conducted by ten independent organizations (see the details here). It measures perceptions because it is difficult to rely on figures provided by the very sources which are being held accountable. This is a sample question from one of the surveys, showing how the answers fin into the 1-10 scale.
“To what extent are there legal or political penalties for officeholders who abuse their positions?”
- [10-9] As a rule, corrupt officeholders are prosecuted rigorously under established laws.
- [8-6] As a rule, corrupt officeholders are prosecuted under established laws but also slip through political, legal or procedural loopholes.
- [5-3] Corrupt officeholders are not prosecuted adequately under the law but occasionally attract adverse publicity.
- [2-1] Officeholders can exploit their offices for private gain as they see fit without fear of legal consequences or adverse publicity.
A Christian Strategy
Considering that there are about 1 billion Christians in the world, it would seem very likely that a lot of this corruption is actively or passively perpetrated by Christians. One very effective strategy for addressing world corruption is to appeal to these believer in Jesus Christ and show them how their behavior is radically inconsistent with their stated beliefs. Unfortunately in many places Christianity is only understood and adhered to superficially. This is why the work of Senderis and other international teaching ministries is so crucial. Christian teaching and training makes a difference!