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The World Bank and world religions are two of the most powerful forces in the developing world. The Bank has access to vast financial resources, while faiths have vast social access and credibility. Partnership between the Bank and religious groups could have a significant impact on development efforts, but dialogue between them appears impotent. That appearance is deceptive. The dialogue stems from the Bank’s long-term shift towards poverty alleviation and popular participation. As long as the Bank continues to address these issues, its actions will bring it into contact with faith groups. Despite its limitations, the Bank – faith dialogue, has fostered a greater openness to faiths among Bank staff, which in turn has resulted in specific roles being given to faiths in several major Bank programmes and opened the door to future partnerships.

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