Since the 1970s, the global debt crisis has been a priority for the World Council of Churches. On several occasions the WCC has spoken in solidarity with the victims of indebtedness.
Through the sabbath-jubilee tradition, the Hebrew and Christian scriptures offer a framework for periodically overcoming structural injustice and poverty and for restoring right relationships. This tradition is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.
Debt bondage by the poorest countries to Western governments and creditors is akin to a modern form of slavery. The social, political and ecological costs of the debt crisis can no longer be tolerated and must be redressed.
In December 1998 delegates to the Harare Assembly challenged the Council to strengthen its work on the debt issue and to develop an ecumenical response to the challenges of globalization.
The assembly adopted a policy statement for reflection by the ecumenical community and called WCC member churches to action. Fearing that initiatives to cancel the debt of the world's most indebted countries will not sufficiently curb the cycle of indebtedness, the statement attempts to place the debt issue in the wider framework of economic justice and globalization.
Based on the Harare mandate, the WCC is
Click to these important documents:|
There are alternatives to globalization - a dossier prepared by the WCC Justice, Peace & Creation Team to help ecumenical partners prepare for the UN General Assembly's Special Session on Social Development, Geneva, June 2000.
WCC Statement on Debt Crisis
Click here for a list of links and addresses for a variety of Jubilee 2000 campaigns and other sources of information.