Children of the 1950's and 1960's in Catholic schools in the U.S. were often told to look to the starvation in India as an inspiration for Catholic charity. In other words, nuns and priests collected money for proselytizing efforts by exploiting the suffering of the impoverished whom they claimed they wished to convert. More likely the millions of "mite boxes", coin-filled cardboard boxes the size of individual milk cartons, went to buy more gold for the Vatican. The pressing of guilt-over-comfort into the open consciousness of children is a basic indoctrination principle of Roman Catholicism.
Institutional religion is an arm of the power of the wealthy few over conformist many. Religion supports the cause of convincing the many to support the rich. By promoting misogynist ideals of motherhood and over-breeding, institutional religions maintain a surplus of worker-slaves and soldiers for the owners of social wealth. The reward to the religious hierarchies is obvious. They live like the aristocrats they serve.
The resurgence of religious indoctrination in the past several decades coincides with the slow gutting of middle-class prosperity in post-industrial societies. Religion has begun to be utilized by the new economic aristocrats in Asia as well. Even in Communist China, where religious chic has become a trend among some. Buddhist Thailand's state religion has supported military rule and the most arcane enforcement of monarchic oppression, disguised as worship of traditional values. U.K.'s monarchy worship has been promoted with renewed vigor as the public takes note of the widening wealth gap in that nation. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the Church of England.
Less monotheistic India and Communist China have taken steps to decrease overpopulation under loud criticism from Abrahamic religions. Abrahamic religions are more supportive of elites. They promote ideals of moving over and making room for overpopulation. Sharing is caring. It takes a village to raise a child. There's plenty on Earth for everybody. These inane notions are promoted to keep the oppressed and exploited busy with scraping by while the super-wealthy cash in. Self-deprivation is promoted to those who have less as moral and preferable to sticking up for yourself and the fruits of your hard work. The subtext is that God has chosen to make the rich "blessed", and the poor are just not working hard enough.
This is superstitious nonsense which suits the consciences and manipulations of predators, schemers and charlatans. By gutting secular public education in the U.S., the wealthy, backed by religious and charter-school entrepreneurs, are actualizing a social coup de grace upon the prosperous middle class which is required for the maintenance of progressive democracy. Government in the U.S. and Europe is now ruled from within by wealthy corporate interests. Their promotion of unlimited immigration, the defense of misogynist religions, promotion of anti-science in their media and militarization of police to suppress protest are disguised by their monetary support of faux-progressive candidates like Hillary Clinton over rabble-rousers like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.
Depriving the many is not moral. Self-deprivation to enable overpopulation by less educated parents is not moral. Enabling poverty is not moral. Saying the poor are less poor in the current system is not moral. It is a convenient distortion of reality by those who feel comfortable at the top of the human economic pyramid. Depriving the many is regressive, not progressive.