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22 May 2013

Campolo: Church must wake up to corporate evil and global corruption

Campolo: Church must wake up to corporate evil and global corruption

The Church should be less absorbed with itself and wake up to the needs of the oppressed locally and globally, according to a leading theologian.

Speaking to the Alliance ahead of a Bible Society event in parliament last Thursday, Dr Tony Campolo challenged the Church to get on board with Exposed - a major new campaign to tackle global corruption.

Dr Campolo said: "When we talk about corruption, we all like to pick on examples like a customs officer in Haiti who you might pay to help get your stuff through. But he's not the real culprit."

He said that churches should also consider where their money is being spent and re-focus on justice.

"Take any church budget – how much of the money that is taken in by a church is spent on keeping the church going and how much of its income is spent on ministering to the needs of others? Yet every church says its mission is to reach out to meet the needs of those around it.

"Well, you don't minister to the needs around you by spending all the money on yourself. Has the Church become more committed to its own survival than to the mission that Jesus has given them – to preach the gospel, and to bring justice to a world which is oppressed?"

But poverty and oppression won't end unless we tackle global corruption, Dr Campolo said, lending his backing to the Exposed 2013 campaign.

"We're very effective at dealing with morality on an individualistic level," he said. "We speak with great fervour. We foam at the mouth. We know how to deal with what we consider the individualistic sins. But we do not have preachers who have been trained to sensitise their people to the issue of corporate evil."

The Exposed campaign is encouraging people to sign a Global Call to End Corruption and will culminate with a week-long Vigil from 14 – 20 October with events around the world. The aim is to get a million signatures opposing corruption. These will be handed to the world's leaders at the G20 summit in November 2014. The campaign challenges individuals, businesses, financial institutions and governments to address the issue of corruption at every level.   Speaking in parliament, Dr Campolo said: "I don't think we can end poverty without fighting corruption. The Bible calls us to do this.

"'The Christian Church has been great at charity, but there's a difference between charity and justice. And unless we address the structural systems of the world, we won't change the situation of the poor." He added: "Getting rid of corruption is a very big part of establishing the kingdom of God here and now." Dr Campolo signed the petition that will go to international leaders next year. To add your signature, visit: www.exposed2013.com