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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Lutherans on land-leases

Africa's Lutheran leaders don't all agree about whether Africans benefit when their governments lease land to foreign governments and corporations to produce food. At an October Lutheran World Federation meeting, many argued that the leases remove farmers from the land and deepen food imbalances, as food is produced for other countries. Elieshi Mungure, a pastor who teaches at Lutheran Tumaini University in Tanzania, said ordinary people "are coming to the churches crying and the churches are forced to go out and start gathering food for them." But Paul Koffi Fynn, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ghana, said that while he doesn't approve of foreign involvement, he knew of one community that, without mechanical resources, could farm rice on only 1 acre of its land, until a land-lease raised the harvest level.


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