If you are a global business leader - you need to understand that the future of the world is not secularism, it is religious pluralism. You may not like that, but your going to have to deal with it. The world is becoming more religious not less. The myth that as education rises religion would go down is that literary, a myth. And if you happen to be in a country where either houses of worship are not strong you have no idea of the vitality of faith around the world. And see how influential it really is.
There are major problems on our planet, I call them the global giants. They effect not millions of people but billions of people. Pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, illiteracy, corruption, Global Warming, spiritual emptiness - we can not solve these problems without involving people of faith and their religious institutions. It ain't going to happen any other way.
On this planet there are about 20 million Jews, 600 million Buddhists, there are about 800 million Hindus, there are over one billion Muslims, and there are 2.3 billion Christians. If you take people of faith out of the equation you've ruled out 5/6th of the world. And if we only leave it up to secular people to solve these major problems it isn't going to happen.
Now I've been coming to Davos for sometime and we always talk about partnerships. And I'm in-favor of partnerships, but we have been missing the third leg of the stool. When we talk about partnerships at Davos we basically talk about public and private. Or public being government and non-government organizations, and private meaning the for profit organizations. A one legged stool will fall over, and a two legged stool will fall over - you have to have three legs. And the third leg of the stool are the people representing faiths on this stage and others, it is the faith component. government has a roll that only government can do, profit has a roll that only profit can do, and churches and mosque, and synagogues, and temples have a roll that only they can do.
There are some things that churches have, let me take mine own faith as a christian pastor. Let me give you somethings that government or business will never have that the church has.
Number one we have universal distribution. I could take you to ten million villages around the world and the only thing in it is a church. They don't have a school, they don't have a business, they don't have a program, they don't have a fire department, they don't have any government - but they got a church. The church was global 200 years before Davos even started talking about globalization. It is truly the only global organization, it speaks more languages than the united nations. Its in a thousand more people groups than the U.N. It is the only truly global organization.
So we have universal distribution and we have used this in disaster relief very effectively. I lead a very small network of 500 thousand churches in a 162 countries. That's one little network - compared to the catholic church which if you go to Africa thirty percent of the health care down on that continent is done by the catholic church - you can not ignore that. You take the Catholic church out of Africa you just lost the number one provider of health care on that continent. So we have universal distribution.
The second thing we have is the largest pool of man power, not accounting all the brothers and sisters who are Jews and Muslims and other faiths Hindus, Buddhists, if I could get just one half of Christianity involved in these major conflicts that would be a billion people. Hundreds of millions of people serve through their congregation every week at no cost. No government, and no business will ever match the commitment of volunteers to faith. None ever - you need to understand that as a business leader.
The third thing we have is local credibility. last year I did a world tour where I did 46 thousand miles in 45 days. And in every country, I literally went around the world. And in every country I met with the government leaders, usually the president or prime minister, the top business leaders, and the religious leaders. And in every one of those countries what I found was when you get down to the local city level the credibility lies with the imam, the pastor, the priest, the rabbi - why? because that person is marrying, burring, they are there in seasons of life, they care for the sick, they help the people when the wars come every one else leaves, all the NGO's pull out, but the church and the mosque stays - why? it is the community. You can't talk community development with out with out talking churches and mosques and temples and synagogues - you just can't talk about it because they are the community.
So my challenge to you is can we not all get along? Can we not just work together? I don't have to share your motivation, and you don't have to share mine for us to work on poverty and disease, and literacy and things like that. Frankly I don't care why you do good as long as you do good. Now there are some people who do good for political reason. I happen to be on the Council on Foreign Relations in America and we've learned that when you help people with health care in a country they tend to like your country. You help people get well they like you now that's not my motivation, but it's a good motivation. I don't have a problem with political motivation - helping people get well they like your country - fine. You may have a profit motivation, you maybe a pharmaceutical and say we're going to make drugs and we are going to do good and make money at the same time - great I wish more companies would do that, I wish they would make profit and do good at the same time. It's not my motive, but it's not a bad motive. You may have a personal motivation and say well I've had cancer so I care about people that have cancer, or I've have AIDS so I care about people that have AIDS - that's fine. My motivation is I have a Savior named Jesus Christ that said love your neighbor as yourself, it doesn't have to be your motivation, it has to be mine.
Can we not work together in building the three legs of the stool. for the last three years I've been working on a prototype of this it's called the peace plan, P-E-A-C-E. Promote reconciliation, Equip ethical leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, Educate the next generation. In my own church I have had over 700,700 of my members overseas in in 68 countries doing this peace plan. We learned a thousand ways that don't work, but we learned a few dozen that do. And we are learning how to work with business, and how to work with governments, and how to work with churches, and mosques.
Ill end with this story. Last December I was asked by president Bush to be the closing speaker at the global summit on malaria. And I said I just want to show you why we cannot eliminate malaria much less any other problem without houses of worship. Let me show you just one example. So I said I'll show you three slides, I put up the first power-point slide, and it was a slide of western Rwanda, and said there are 700,000 people in this province. Here are the three hospitals and a pointed them out on the map. only three hospitals for 700,000 people. It's a two days walk to any hospital. That means if you get sick you've got to walk over mountains for two days. Two of those hospitals are faith based, and one of them secular, it's government based. So you don't even have two thirds of that without faith. Then I said let me show you this, then I showed him the 18 clinics in the western province. It's still a days walk to any of these clinics, and many of these clinics have just a bottle of aspirin on the shelf - that's it. 16 of those clinics are faith based, actually church based, and two of them were government based. Then I said watch this, and I threw up a map with dot's all over the map - everywhere. Here are the 726 churches in this providence. If your sick, say you have AIDS where would you go to get your ARVs. After it was over Melinda Gates came up to me and says "I get it Rick, Houses of worship are the distribution center for all we need to do".