Monday, May 12, 2008
Yesterday Chris gave the following notice:
Ten years ago many of us went to Birmingham to help form a human chain of 70,000 people around the area where the leaders of the G8 were meeting, to demand that the huge debts crippling the world’s poorest countries be cancelled.
In the last ten years, as part of the HIPC process, $88 billion of debt has been cancelled for 25 countries who have had to meet a whole series of tough conditions; but this only represents about 20% of the debt that needs to be dropped. 36 of the world’s poorest nations, suffering under a huge debt burden while millions of their people live in extreme poverty- have been left out of the HIPC process altogether.
Recently the focus at St Johns has been on Fair Trade and Saving The Planet, but as the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Jubilee Debt Campaign approaches, we have been asked to help to focus once again on getting un-payable debts cancelled for the world’s poorest people.
You can help to do this in 3 ways:
1. The easiest way is to take a postcard and send it to the International Development Secretary with your signature, saying that you want our government to lead the way once again and PICK UP THE PACE of debt cancellation.
2. Fast for a day to register your support for the 36 countries so far excluded from debt cancellation. If you can do this for one day this week you must take a slip of paper which gives the web address of the Jubilee Debt Campaign so that you can register your fast. YOU MUST REGISTER YOUR FAST
3. Join the JOURNEY TO JUSTICE event next Sunday at 2.30 p.m. at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Activities begin earlier at 12.30. Details of the event are on the Jubilee Debt Campaign website.
Interestingly, both Tom Wright and Rowan Williams in recent publications have made relevant observations: in Surprised By Hope, Wright refers in general to ‘the massive economic imbalance of the world’ and in particular Third World Debt, as ‘the Number One moral issue of our day (p228); Williams in Tokens of Trust (p128) says that the Church ‘is meant to be the place where Jesus is visibly active in the world’ and that sometimes, just sometimes, we are able to say ‘I have seen the church and it works’. Of the three examples he gave, one was the 70,000 in Birmingham.
All postcards were taken and eight copies of the website for registering a fast.