The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Capitol idea: Rally set to cancel debt

Organizers of Jubilee 2000 are calling all who back its efforts to get Congress to write off most debts owed to the United States by the world's 42 highly indebted poor countries to come to Washington, D.C., April 9.

That Sunday the coalition of environmental, social justice and religious groups — including the ELCA — will hold a rally on the National Mall. Check on the plans on the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs' home page: www.loga.org.

Congress did approve a $123 million debt relief plan in November, short of the $370 billion requested by the Administration. Two other bills for further relief were then introduced.

Africa is home of 33 of the 41 countries considered "heavily indebted" by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The Jubilee movement claims more than 50 nations have enormous foreign debt burdens.

"Not many people in the world know why women and children in Africa live under the disturbing conditions of extreme poverty and suffering," wrote Chirumbidzo 'Rumbi' Mabuwa, in "A circle of misery" (Women, Lutheran World Federation, August 1999).

"Instead, the views some societies hold about poor women are predominantly prejudiced, viewing them as being responsible for their own fate and unwilling to better their life."

Speaking in Washington, D.C., last summer at the consultation for faith communities on "Trade, Aid and Debt," Fidon R. Mwombeki of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania said: "Debt is the single most immediate handicap which keeps Africa entangled in a vicious circle of poverty, disease and ignorance. Our plea is one: Cancel Africa's debt. Give Africa a fresh start."


Print subscribers and supporting Web members may comment.

Log in or Subscribe to comment.

text size:

this page: email | print

February issue


Embracing diversity