19 June [ENInews] Participants at an international forum meeting in Bogor, Indonesia from 19 to 22 June are studying concepts of economic and ecological justice that lie at the heart of Christian ethics, according to a news release from the World Council of Churches (WCC).
More than 100 international participants are attending the WCC's Global Forum on Poverty, Wealth and Ecology. On 19 June, they discussed poverty eradication and justice concepts. These themes will be linked to the WCC's 10th assembly, scheduled to take place from 30 October to 8 November 2013 in Busan, South Korea.
The assembly's theme is "God of life, lead us to justice and peace," noted Rogate Mshana, the WCC's acting associate general secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia and program executive for Poverty, Wealth and Ecology.
The Indonesia forum will conclude the AGAPE (Alternative to Economic Globalization Addressing Peoples and Earth) study process initiated by the WCC in 2006 at its 9th Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the news release said.
The AGAPE studies have focused on the relations between poverty, wealth and ecology, undertaken in Africa in 2007, Latin America and the Caribbean in 2008, Asia and the Pacific in 2009, Europe in 2010 and North America in 2011.
The conclusion of the AGAPE process is expected to result in a "strong call to action by the churches and ecumenical family for poverty eradication and ecological justice," said Mshana.
B. Herry Priyono, an economist at the Driyarkara School of Philosophy in Jakarta said, "globalization has brought with it some ambivalence, blessing as much as curse, new rich and new poor, uprootedness as much as a yearning for local rootedness." He stressed that "globalization has not brought its beneficial promises to the Indonesian majority."
He added that "the current notion of the economy is conceptually and practically hazardous for the common good, ordinary people, the poor, and humanity. Economy should be defined as the organization of human livelihood and not as the market."
The WCC president for Asia, the Rev. Soritua Nababan, called the AGAPE process an "ecumenical journey" towards economic and ecological justice.
"Our concern today is that those who are responsible for formulating economic, financial and ecological policies have not addressed the real root causes of the problem. The concept of growth without limits is still the mantra of most policy makers," said Nababan.
In this situation Nababan said that we need to "move towards justice and peace, where we shall experience economies of life for all and a flourishing ecology."
Another participant, Vernie Yocogan-Diano from the Cordillera Women's Education Action Research Centre, spoke about indigenous peoples, especially indigenous women. She also questioned the concept of "development."
She said that "it is ironic that indigenous peoples who have the wealth of resources are living in poverty. This is our term of development which causes imbalance or destroys our symbiotic relationship with the land and the resources."
The forum is co-organized with WCC member churches in Indonesia, including Huria Kristen Batak Protestan, Communion of Churches in Indonesia, Urban Community Mission Jakarta and Indonesia Christian Church (GKI-West Java regional synod).
The Geneva-based WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.
Article from ENI.