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Entries in corruption (12)

Wednesday
Mar052014

30 pieces of silver - a great resource for Lent on taking a stand against corruption!

The Bible Society has prepared this great resource to support Christians in taking a stand against corruption. It forms a part the 'EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption'. It comes at the start of Lent and will be a great resource to guide you through Easter. Please use it, share it, print it, email it, and support the EXPOSED campaign at http://www.exposedcampaign.com Download the PDF from here. It is a small PDF file of less than 1 MB.
Tuesday
Oct082013

It is time to #ShineAlight on Corruption - #EXPOSED2013 is a week away!

It's time to let your light shine!
Have you arranged your Vigil, Church service, business gathering, or prayer meeting for some time during 14-20 October yet?  Simply go here:  http://www.exposed2013.com/act/10-action-tools/33-organise-a-vigil
Or, follow these simple instructions!
1.  Please watch this short video (2 minutes) about the EXPOSED Vigils http://t.co/i9EK7QqqjK
2.  Simply invite a few friends, set a venue, and download sample prayers, scripture readings and the video from here http://www.exposed2013.com/act/10-action-tools/33-organise-a-vigil
3.  Please register your Global Vigil on the global map here, so that others can see it (shine a light!) or join you if it is an open meeting or service!http://www.exposed2013.com/act/10-action-tools/78-register-your-vigil
4.  Post some pictures, video, or a short report on your website, facebook and twitter.  Please use the hashtag #ShineALight 
5.  At your Vigil, and during the week, please get as many people as you can to sign the Global Call to end corruption. Simply go here on your computer, cellphone or tablet http://bit.ly/signGC or visit the website and sign up there, or download and print a sign up sheet to gather signatures automaticallyhttp://www.exposed2013.com
In a week's time we shall be joining millions of people from 138 countries around the world in Christian witness!  God cares about the poor and about corruption - it is time to shine your light!
Here is a simple, and powerful, way in which you can show your solidarity with this great cause.  The Bible tells us 'Learn to do good, seek justice, stand for the rights of the poor and oppressed' (Isaiah 1.17).
1.  Please print the attached 'Sing up Sheet' and carry it with you for the week.  Do your best to fill a few sheets with signatures for the Global Call to end corruption! We need One Million signatures to take to the G20 in 2014!  
2.  Please print the 'One in a million' sign and keep it with you.  Please get as many people who have signed the global call to take a picture of themselves holding the sign 'I'm one in a million'.  Ask them to post their picture on twitter, facebook, to send it to friends or family.  
Graham Power is One in a Million - founder of Unashamedly Ethical and the Global Day of Prayer
Please use the hashtags #shinealight and #EXPOSED2013 so that we can get some real traction! (See the example photograph of Graham Power, founder of the Global Day of Prayer and Unashamedly Ethical movements, attached to this message).
Completed forms can either be scanned and emailed back to me, or you can enter the details on http://www.exposed2013.com or directly at http://bit.ly/signGC (note the capital GC for Global Call).
Thanks so much for your partnership in this important work!
Together with you in Christ,
Dion

 

Friday
Jun072013

The Church and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's)

Yesterday I had a chance to do a presentation at the Stellenbosch University Winter school on the role of the Church in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's).  Here are the slides from that presentation.

The good news is that there has been some great progress towards achieving the 8 MDG's and addressing extreme poverty across the world.  However, it is critical that we finish well! It would seem that some early strides were made, and that now many governments have slowed their progress on more difficult issues.

The role of the Church is crucial in this process.  My reasoning was quite simple:

1.  The Christian faith is the largest faith on earth.

2.  Our scriptures are clear that we should work for justice for all people.  The earth is the Lords, we have stewardship of it and we need to do a better job of caring for one another and the plant.

3.  There are simple and practical things that we can do.  They begin with prayer but must move to action.

4.  I encouraged the listeners to move through the 4 stages of engagement (as mentioned by David Korten in his research), namely from A) Charity B) Projects C) Advocacy and Policy engagement to D) Social movements for change (e.g., like the suffigen movement in the last century).

I gave three examples:

- Micah Challenge Australia and the 'Finish the race' campaign at http://www.micahchallenge.org.au

- Unashamedly Ethical which is a global ethics advocacy community with support and encouragement http://www.unashamedlyethical.com

- Promising life, a South African project to work for the maternal health care and the reduction of infant mortality in South Africa (we have one of the best policy frameworks for basic health care, and great allocation of resources, yet delivery and implementation by the Department of Health in South Africa is dismal!) join them here http://www.micahchallenge.org.za

Of course I would encourage you please to sign up to EXPOSED and send a strong message to the leaders of the G20 that global corruption is not acceptable!  Go to the website or sing up below http://www.exposed2013.com

Tuesday
Mar122013

EXPOSED - Toolkits to mobilize Christians and the Church against corruption.

Last night we had a wonderful event to mark the second phase of the EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption campaign in Cape Town.  150 guests from every continent were present to participate in the launch of:

- A toolkit to equip and mobilize individual Christians and Churches to take a positive stand against corruption.

- A toolkit to equip and mobilize individual Christians in business to take a positive stand against corruption.

- The Global Call sign up tool to gather signatures with which to petition the leaders of the G20 nations.

Here are a few photographs and the official press release for the event.

Corruption is not just greed, the abuse of public influence, bribery, or secret and dishonest deals and money lost through tax evasion. Corruption kills!

Graham Power, the founder of the Global Day of Prayer and Unashamedly Ethical, reminded a gathering in Cape Town on Monday March 11 2013 that ‘We will never rid the world of systemic poverty until we rid it of systemic corruption’.

‘Over US$1 TRILLION goes missing every year from the global economy as a result of corruption (1) and it’s predicted that illegal tax evasion alone will be responsible for 5.6 million children dying in developing countries between 2000 and 2015 (2). That’s 1,000 children every day. We think it is time for us to take action,’ said Rev Joel Edwards, International Coordinator of EXPOSED, the global Christian campaign aimed at exposing corruption, one of the major causes of poverty.

Speaking at the event in Cape Town, South Africa, to mark the beginning of public action as part of the EXPOSED 2013 campaign, Joel Edwards and Mr Power were among leading international figures from the world of church, business and government who challenged millions of Christians worldwide to make a stand against practices which ultimately keeps the poor in dire poverty.

The event, attended by 150 members of the press, church, business and government also saw the launch of some vital resources and tools to help people across the globe take a stand against corruption. This includes online resources to help churches and businesses to sign the EXPOSED campaign’s Global Call for Integrity, and toolkits to help people challenge corruption wherever they find it – in their communities, in their business and financial dealings and in the government.

‘We want a million people to sign our Global Call for Integrity, a call for financial transparency and honesty, which will be presented to leaders of the most powerful economies across the world. But that’s just the start of it,’ said Rev Dr Dion Forster, Chairman of EXPOSED. He went on to say: ‘Each one of us must realise that we have a critical part to play in tackling corruption in our own lives and communities.’

South African businesswoman Michelle Harding spoke to the Cape Town audience, saying:   ‘My stand against corruption was worthwhile because I was being obedient to God.  I believe that leaders have to accept responsibility for change.’ She spoke of how, as the Managing Director of a plastic pipe company in South Africa which was part of a crooked cartel that had been fixing prices and rigging bids for decades, she woke up to corruption and has since helped to clean up her industry. 

Dr. Michael Cassidy, founder of African Enterprise and honorary lifetime President of Lausanne, added; ‘If a country decays it is the failure of the Church to be salt. If is the country is dark, it is the failure of the Church to be light. EXPOSED allows Christians to shine a light on corruption.’

The Cape Town meeting heard from Joyce Thong from Malaysia how, over the first six months of the campaign since the official launch of EXPOSED in October 2012, advocates across the world have been creating interest in the campaign and have started to challenge business, church and individuals on the issue of corruption. Ms. Thong challenged Church members to commit themselves and to take responsibility in their nations by making a personal commitment, and then extending that commitment into their community.

Activity now steps up, with people being encouraged to sign the Global Call for Integrity and get involved in the culmination of the campaign - a week of action and prayer including 2000 Vigils across the world from 14-20 October 2013 when it is expected many hundreds of thousands of Christian will gather for special church services, public gatherings and initiatives and activities designed to ‘shine a light on corruption.’

The Global Call for Integrity is an appeal from Christians around the world, who represent ordinary citizens, to encourage and challenge the leaders of the most economically powerful nations in the world (the G20) to press for more open tax regimes and greater transparency in payments to combat bribery and tax avoidance, urging them to ensure that financial dealings in business and government are open and honest.  The 1 million signatures will be handed to the G20 leaders before their meeting in 2014.

Amanda Jackson, from the EXPOSED team in London said, ‘The resources launched at the Cape Town event aim to highlight the issue of corruption in the next six months and help individuals, churches and organisations across the globe break the barriers of corruption in their own communities and sign the Call for Integrity.’

The Global Call Action Tool allows people to sign the Call for Integrity petition online and also gives access to online resources and widgets which may be embedded in other websites as the message spreads. The Toolkits for Church and Business provide clear, succinct and helpful information to mobilise individuals and Christian communities to take a strong, concrete and constructive stand against corruption.

EXPOSED aims to engage 100 million people across the globe – including Christians and people of other faiths or no faith - to consider practical and positive ways to resist corruption:

  • Light in my heart
  • Light in my community
  • Light in my world

The speakers at the Cape Town EXPOSED event were leading figures from the global church and business community who have direct experience of tackling or exposing corruption:

  • Dr Michael Cassidy – Founder of African Enterprise, Lifetime honorary president of the Lausanne Movement, South African theologian.
  • Rev Moss Ntlha – head of TEASA (The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa), respected Church leader, anti-apartheid activist and theologian.
  • Rev Joel Edwards – Director Micah Challenge International, International Coordinator EXPOSED.
  • Mr Graham Power – Chairman and Founder of the Global Day of Prayer and Unashamedly Ethical movements, leading South African businessman.
  • Mrs Michelle Harding – Leading South African businesswoman and champion for ethics.   

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

(1) Interview with Daniel Kaufman, Global Governance Director, The World Bank Institute, “Six Questions about the cost of corruption” April 8 2004

(2) www.christianaid.org.uk/images/deathandtaxes.pdf

EXPOSED is a coalition of Christian Organisations that aims to challenge the global Church, business and governments to highlight the impact of corruption on the poorest of the poor. The EXPOSED coalition partners include Micah Challenge International, British and Foreign Bible Society, American Bible Society, World Evangelical Alliance, The Salvation Army, Unashamedly Ethical, Tearfund,

Tearfund Nigeria, Global Day of Prayer, Global Prayer Resource Network, Asian Access, 24/7 Prayer, Jericho Walls Prayer International, Business Action Group, Network of Christian Forums,

Langham Partnership/Langham Preachers, Advocates International, Empower21, Malaysian Care/CANOPI, International Federation of Transformation Partners(IFTP), AJS (Associates for a more Just Society Asociación parauna Sociedad más Justa), Tax Justice Network, UNDP or UN Millennium Campaign, Global Poverty Project, Mosaiek Church, CONECAR, Europartners, 

Friday
Jan252013

FNB #littlehelps - you can help! South Africa needs you

This morning I heard that the African National Congress was having an urgent meeting with First National Bank because of their advert 'You can help'.  

Their press statement expressed dismay that the Bank would put together an advert of this nature, and in true political heavy-handedness they are seeking to 'engage' the bank.  I wish it was to engage the bank to hear how they can improve governance, how they clean up their public image, and how they can better serve the nation.  But, sadly it is not.  The press points out that they are meeting with FNB to chastize them for expressing their concern about what is happening in our nation and asking the citizens of the nation to stand up and make a difference, in spite of the governing party and the government.

I think it is great that citizens and big business are taking a stand! This is our nation, as well as theirs, together we can make a difference!

Here's the advert - you can help!

#littlehelps What a powerful video! I also believe that we can make this nation great again, in spite of greed, corruption and power hungry politicians and citizens. I want to help! If you do to, then see youcanhelp.co.za

As for me, I am not going to sit back.  I want to help.  I hope you'll join me! Below are two more movements that I am part of that I believe can make a difference:

 

 

Monday
Jan212013

It is time to wake up to the cost of corruption!

Corruption has a name, poverty has a face, and we have a voice! This is the slogan for our anti-corruption campaign, EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption.

Transparency International has just release this very powerful video that illustrates the cost of corruption for both the perpetrator and the victim.  It is very powerful, and only 1 minute long!

I want to urge you not to be silent about corruption! The Prophet Isaiah reminds us to:

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. (Isaiah 1.17 NLT)

Please join us by signing up for EXPOSED - add your voice, don't be silent!

Monday
Dec102012

EXPOSED2013: Mass March of Christians in Zimbabwean Cities Mobilising Against Corruption

Today (9 December 2012) is Internation Anti-Corruption Day.  I am currently in New York for a series of meetings with various Christian leadears and Civic organisations.  Among them are Geoff Tunnicliffe and Christine MacMillan from the World Evangelical Alliance (the WEA ran the story on Zimbabwe today - they are an incredible supporter of EXPOSED!).

I am also blessed to be able to meet friends at the United Nations, friends at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, friends who head up the Social Justice commission of the Salvation Army, and some of the leaders of the American Bible Society.  I have a few speaking engagements as well.

The purpose of all of these meetings and visits is to mobilize support within the Church and wider society to take a stand for the poor and to witness and work against corruption.

You can find out more about our year long campaign to fight corruption and stand for the rights of the poor by visiting the EXPOSED2013 website at http://www.exposed2013.com - please get your friends, members of your congregation, your family and colleagues to add their names to the 100 million that we are gathering to show the world that God cares about corruption, and that we can make a difference!

Yesterday a group of Christians in Zimbabwe took an amazingly bold stand against corruption in their nation. I am amazed to think that they would take so courageous a stand amidst great personal threat, and so many of us do far less under much less threatening circumstances!

Corruption has a name! Poverty has a face! We have a voice!

Here is the press release from the World Evangelical Alliance website:

Thousands of Christians are marching on cities in Zimbabwe next week in protest against the corruption that is keeping millions in poverty. Leaders of the country's three largest Christian bodies have signed a letter urging churches to rise up against corruption during a day of action coinciding with the global Anti-Corruption Day (December 9th). The mass mobilisation is part of EXPOSED 2013, a year-long world campaign against corruption.

Dr Shana Goodwill, who as Chair of the Heads of Christian Denominations representing 75 per cent of the nation's Christians, said: "Here in Zimbabwe we will march on our cities to show our anger at corruption. And three of the major bodies have signed a letter urging the church to rise up against corruption. It has to stop. The poor are dying.

"The world church also has a vital role to play. Here in Zimbabwe we are seeing a big campaign between all the three major denominations to stamp out corruption. If Zimbabwe can do it, any country can. We want to send a message to the world. We have a dream. Ending corruption can help the poorest people in the world. The church needs to shine its light in the world and put the spotlight on corruption."

Dr Shana is chair of Heads of Christian Denominations in Zimbabwe (HOCD) comprising the three main Church mother bodies - Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference, Zimbabwe Council of Churches, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe - representing millions of Christians. He is also a member of the national Anti-Corruption Commission and sits on the Steering Group for EXPOSED 2013 coalition campaign around corruption.

EXPOSED aims to mobilise 100 million Christians by next October and hold a Global Vigil against Corruption on 14-20 October 2013.
EXPOSED 2013 also wants to secure 10 million online signatures to deliver to the G20 in November 2014.

Dr Dion Forster, International Co-ordinator of EXPOSED, said: "These anti-corruption campaigners in Zimbabwe are inspirational their actions will send a message to the rest of the world that enough is enough. We are no longer content to put up with corruption. The world’s poor are eager for us to act."

See www.exposed 2013.com or follow Twitter @exposed2013 Facebook at xposed2013


EXPOSED is a coalition of Christian Organisations that aims to challenge the global Church, business and governments to highlight the impact of corruption on the poorest of the poor.

The EXPOSED coalition partners include the Bible Society of the United Kingdom, the Bible Society of North America, The Salvation Army, Unashamedly Ethical, the World Evangelical Alliance and Micah Challenge International, Association for a Just Society (AJS) in Honduras, CANOPI in Malaysia, Global Day of Prayer, Advocates International, Empower21 and Asian Access.

Prayer points:

Our friends at the Global Prayer Resource Network put together the following prayer points to guide us in response to the above.

PRAY:

  • God would open our hearts and minds that we may see the corruption that is keeping millions in poverty and that we may act upon it.
  • We have the wisdom and strength to respond to the actions of Zimbabwe's Christians are taking and call upon our community to rise up against corruption.
  • Live according to his word by shining a light for the oppressed during Anti-Corruption Day.
  • Ask God to reveal to you the atrocities that are happening because of corruption and how the church can rise up against it.
  • Ask God to shine his light on corruption so that many will see the truth! 
Saturday
Oct132012

Historic launch of Christian anti-corruption campaign - EXPOSED shining a light on corruption

On Thursday the 1 year launch for EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption took place.  It was truly an historic event.  

Below you will find a short interview that I did about EXPOSED for UCB radio, our EXPOSED press release and one or two pictures form the event.

Here's what you can do to add your voice!

1.  Book the dates 14-20 October 2013 and either attend, or arrange, an EXPOSED Vigil in your town or city. Details for organising a vigil will be on our website soon.

2.  Consider what one thing you and your circile of influence (family, friends, colleagues, community) could do to change a something or someone that is corrupt.  I would suggest that you A) Call together 5 or so friends B) tell them about EXPOSED and ask them to stand with you to witness God's will on this issue C) Pray about what God may want you to engage with in your community (corruption in Africa is very different from corruption in Europe.  You will know best what is most urgent and important to deal with) D) Decide how you will engage this issue E) Go to http://www.exposed2013.com and share your story!

3.  Visit http://www.exposed2013.com and add your name to the Global Call. We intend to hand tens of millions of names and signatures to the leaders of the world's most economically and politically powerful nations when they meet in Austrailia for the G20 meetings in 2014.  Your voice counts!  Remember this slogan:  Corruption has a name, poverty has a face, you have a voice!  Simply sign up and you will one of the millions who will remind these leaders to govern ethically and manage the earth's resources for the good of every citizen of the planet.

Here is a copy of the UCB interview (MP3) - thank you to UCB media http://www.ucbmedia.co.uk

Here's our press release:

The launch of EXPOSED - Shining a Light on Corruption, is an historic event as it marks the first time in history that leading Christian agencies and organisations have united to take a stand against corruption, one of the major factors contributing to global poverty.

This message set the tone for the launch of EXPOSED2013 in London on Thursday 11 October 2012.

Campaign chairman and International Director of Micah Challenge, Rev Joel Edwards, said: ‘No nation is immune. This current economic crisis means that greed, the excesses of corporate cultures, dishonesty and unaccountable behaviour has touched us where it hurts. EXPOSED is here to join an increasing chorus of concern, which says ‘enough is enough’. It is an opportunity for the church to do what we are called to do: to raise our voice in holy outrage and provide practical offerings of hope.’

The launch, attended by partners, supporters and media, marked the start of a 12-month campaign of awareness-raising and action. In the next year, hundreds of millions of people will be mobilised to commit to and promote practical steps for ethical behaviour in business, government, the Church and society as a whole. The year will culminate in the EXPOSED Global Vigil against Corruption from 14-20 October 2013 and with the signing of a Global Call against corruption which will be handed to the G20 gathering of leading economies in Australia in 2014. Organisers are aiming to gather 10 million signatories.

At the event at Westminster Central Hall, chaired by Lord Paul Boateng, EXPOSED International Co-ordinator Dr Dion Forster said ‘I am convinced that we are responding to God’s call to the Church to take a stand on the issue of corruption across the globe.’

Giving the Biblical grounding for the campaign, Dr Forster continued: ‘Corruption is a sin. It is a sin that is perpetrated against the most vulnerable members of society. It is an affront to God. It is this truth that makes the EXPOSED campaign so important and so urgent.’

Dr Chris Lodewyk representing the Unashamedly Ethical campaign which challenges people to make a public commitment to ‘values, ethics and clean living’, pledged its backing for the EXPOSED campaign.  Corruption, he said, is a particular scourge in Africa but is certainly not confined to that continent.

Global partners include the British and Foreign Bible Society, the American Bible Society, The Salvation Army, Unashamedly Ethical, the World Evangelical Alliance and Micah Challenge International, but the EXPOSED2013 campaign has a much wider and broader support base. EXPOSED has been working with the United Nations Millennium Campaign and Tax Justice Network.

In the next year, the Church will be called to act with integrity and openness. Governments will be urged to act justly and honestly and to implement laws to stop all forms of corruption, so that sustainable growth is possible now and for future generations. Business people will also be asked to promote honest dealings in pricing, procurement, taxes and transparency so that enterprises of all sizes have the opportunity to prosper.

Christians across the world will be asked to take personal action to challenge their own behaviours and stand against corruption in their own communities. Local action is also advocated, with individuals and groups being asked to join and organise a Vigil against Corruption from 14-20 October 2013. At national and international level up to 10 million Christians will be encouraged to add their voices to EXPOSED2013’s Global Call against corruption that will be delivered to leaders of the world’s most powerful nations.

- Ends-

About Exposed

EXPOSED is a coalition of Christian Organisations that aims to challenge the global Church, business and governments to highlight the impact of corruption on the poorest of the poor. The EXPOSED coalition partners include the Bible Society of the United Kingdom, the Bible Society of North America, The Salvation Army, Unashamedly Ethical, the World Evangelical Alliance and Micah Challenge International. Others who have indicated their support for the campaign include Tearfund, 24/7 Prayer and the Association for a Just Society (AJS) in Honduras, CANOPI in Malaysia, The Langham Partnership, Global Day of Prayer, Advocates International, Empower21 and Asian Access. There has also been engagement with the Catholic Bishops Conference, Lambeth Palace, The Organisation of Instituted Churches in Africa, Bishop Ben Quashie of Jos, Nigeria, Bishop Zac Niringiye of Uganda, Dr Goodwill Shana from Zimbabwe, Bishop Tendero of Lausanne and the NGO umbrella body Micah Network.

For more information about EXPOSED go to www.exposed2013.com

 

Footnotes

Footnote 1: December 2011 report from Washington-based Global Financial Integrity

Footnote 2: Interview with Daniel Kaufman, Global Governance Director, The World Bank Institute, “Six Questions about the cost of corruption” April 8th 2004

Saturday
Aug042012

A Biblical mandate for advocacy on poverty and corruption - ABLI presentation

Yesterday I had the great honour of speaking in the Plenary and conducting a workshop session at the African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI) forum in Uganda.

I was invited to present on our campaign 'EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption'. A number of the participants asked me to upload the slides from the presentation.

You can view the slides online below (please note that the first slide is blank, there is content from slide two).

If you would like to download a copy of the slides you can download them in PowerPoint format here.  They are in PPTX format and the file size is about 7.5MB.  If you use the slides please just attribute their source.

I told three stories to make the point that Christians have a responsibility, a ministry, to advocate for justice (speaking out against corruption and working with and for the poor).

Story 1 was called Philip's story.  It asks a powerful theological question:  If God has made the earth plentiful.  If Africa is so fertile and rich in natural and human resources, then why is he, and so many other Africans, stuck in abject poverty?

I used this wonderful video from NURU international.

Story 2 is a Biblical story.  I give some Biblical and Theological input on God's Economy (the oikos [household] nomos [management]).  The etymology of the contemporary English word 'economics' derives from two Greek words that mean the 'management of the household of God'.  The basic point here is that God desires a different standard of equity, justice and the management of the earth's resources so that every person can have a share of God's loving provision to flourish and live in blessing.

Some participants challenged a statement that I made in which I said that the prosperity 'gospel' is  not Biblical.  I stand by that statement.  I do not believe that God is an 'investment banker' where if one follows certain deterministic principles God is contractually bound to make one rich.  Moreover, it is simply not possible for the world to all live at the same standard of consumption that is expounded by prosperity preachers.  We can sustain that level of consumption of the natural resources of the earth.  If every person on earth lived at the standards of the average first world citizen the planet would depleted in a few short years.

However, I also do NOT believe that it is God's desire that the poor should remain in poverty.  I also do not believe that all wealth is evil and wrong.  I believe that what God wants is greater equity between the poor and the rich. In God's economy no child should have too much while another child has too little.  Of course there would be some who have more (e.g., persons who pursue business) and some who have less (persons such as myself who follow a life of service in the academy or in ministry).  However, no one should have too little and no one should have too much.

I do believe that part of the ministry of the Church is to develop the nation.  We should be involved in economic development.  We should be encouraging entrepreneurship.  However, we should also be encouraging responsible stewardship.  We should be encouraging simple and responsible living.

Aman, and a visiting Bishop from Zambia, both put their finger on the problem.  They both suggested that the problem is the terminology that we use.  For me, and many 'westernised' Christians the word prosperity has connations of excess (i.e., how does one get a bigger house, a better car, a higher salary than the good one already has).  However, for most poor persons prosperity means being able to meet the needs of your family and live with a reasonable measure of economic and social freedom.

Just to give some credit, I used a slide from my colleauge at the University of Stellenbosch, Dr Marius Nel, in this section.  It traces the development of the Historical Jesus scholarship.  I basically ask the question 'which Jesus shapes your faith?'  In short, the kind of Jesus that one finds preached by popular television preachers does not resemble the Jesus of the Bible very much.  If you want to find out what the Jesus of scripture cared about do yourself a favor and JUST read the red letters of the Gospels (the words of Jesus) for a month or so and see what Jesus thinks about, talks about, and cares about.  You may be surprised that he cares more about justice, economics, gender relations, systems of power in society than you thought.

Story 3 is our story.  I used the 'EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption' campaign as an example of  advocacy on corruption and poverty. In this section I drew on the great work of my colleague, Amanda Jackson, on advocacy.

I used this video.

I hope there may be something of use here.  Please let me know what you think.  God bless, Dion

Sunday
Jun242012

The cost of global corruption - be informed!

Global Corruption is a huge concern.  It is the largest cause of suffering and conflict across the world.  Billions of persons are denied access to the most basic of needs, such as clean water, basic health care, food, and security.

We can make a difference - it starts with educating yourself on the issue, and then moves into action!

Join @EXPOSED2013 and @UnashamedlyEth and shine a light on corruption!

Please watch the video below on the Corruption Perceptions Index (by TransparencyIntl)

Please sign up to sign a light on corruption at http://www.exposed2013.com

Wednesday
Feb292012

Global Corruption - a meeting in the Houses of Parliament

Today was such an amazing day!  

As I write this I am sitting in the Houses of Parliament in London listening to a presentation on International Corruption by Richard Alderman of the Serious Fraud Office.

The image on the left was taken at the entry hall into the House of Lords. It is such an amazing space! I decided to take it in black and white (the light was not great, and a building of this size and space is best captured in black and white!) 

Back to the presentation; what was clear from the presentation is that corruption, on an international scale, is an extremely serious matter. The costs and repercussions of corruption in the international arena have grave consequences for the poor.  Yet, the reach is also into the middle class and even the wealtheir members of society.  Corruption quite simply erodes the fabric of society making it unstable and leaving us all vulnerable.  If corruption is left unchecked it tends to increase, drawing in more and more persons and leaving more and more victims in its wake.

The presentation gave some insights into the manner in which corruption is hidden from the general public. In short, it is because we all have a sense of moral 'rightness' within us, we know that abuse of power, wealth, and position for personal benefit is unjust. Corruption is not only a matter for governments, it is also very prevalent in businesses, and even in NGO's and the religious sector.  In some instances companies are far more corrupt (and powerfully so!), and the consequences of their corrupt practises are far more severe, than those of governments.

What strikes me as I have listened to this presentation is that many countries in which corruption is rife have an overwhelmingly Christian population.  Why isn’t the Church forming its members to act responsibly in their role in government and business - in society in general?  In many of these instances it is persons who sit in our pews on Sunday, who are robing the poor, stealing form the nation, and breaking the law on a Monday.

Christians, what should we be doing about corruption in our midst?  What do you do if you are aware of corrupt practises in your work environment, or you have been involved in corrupt practises yourself?

What would God want you to do?  What would God want your Church to do?

Our meetings for EXPOSED continue today.  I would appreciate your prayers! Follow EXPOSED on twitter here and please 'like' us on Facebook.

Friday
Dec092011

Exposed - a new global Christian campaign against corruption

Today is international anti-corruption day.

The cost of corruption amounts to trillions of dollars each year. Most frequently it is the poorest of the poor who suffer the weight of this abuse.

As Christians we have a responsibility to act against injustice and abuse (Micah 6.8).

Please see this new campaign to fight global corruption - it is called Exposed.

The excerpt below is taken from the Unashamedly Ethical website, one of the Exposed campaign partners:

Christians around the world will raise their voices together in a united response against corruption in 2013.

EXPOSED – Shining a Light on Corruption - 14-20 October 2013

We aim to challenge the global Church, business and governments. Every year well over US$1 TRILLION goes missing through mismanagement, illicit business practices and poor governance. It doesn't have to be this way.

POOR: This money doesn’t just evaporate - it is actually deducted from the livelihood of some of the poorest people in the world.

BRIBES: In September 2005 a Transparency International report showed that poor women in some parts of the world may have to pay an average of US$22 in bribes for maternal services when having their babies. 

DESTITUTION: As Dr Goodwill Shana, chair of heads of denominations in Zimbabwe, put it: “While corruption is present everywhere from the boardrooms of corporations in developed countries to the dusty streets of Africa, in Africa it plays a far more significant role in keeping the poor in the unrelenting grip of destitution.”

OPPRESSION: Corruption is one of the greatest obstacles to dealing with extreme poverty and the campaign aims to mobilise Christians to join with wider society in exposing the practices which oppress the poor.

PROMISES TO THE POOR: Corinne Woods, director for the United Nations Millennium Development Programme, is enthusiastic about the campaign: "Every individual has a part to play in combating the corruption which erodes the promises of the millennium declaration. If we are to reach these goals in 2015 and respond to extreme poverty beyond we really do need to tackle corruption wherever it exists. I am so pleased that EXPOSED is picking up this challenge."

WHO ARE WE? EXPOSED is a coalition of Christian organisations.
The campaign is currently hosted by a group of Christian organisations including Bible Society of UK and North America, Salvation Army, Unashamedly Ethical and Micah Challenge International.  

REDEMPTION: “Our job is to provide a forum in which 100 million Christians will remind ourselves and the world of God’s passion for the poor.” said Rev Joel Edwards, chair of the steering group.

“We are also excited about the growing interest from a wide range of churches and organisations who are passionate about this issue. EXPOSED is not about aggressive protest for its own sake. We want to shine a light in order to bring hope and redemption and we hope to bring examples of good practise as well as offer robust challenges to institutions which oppress the poor.”