Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • The Federal Budget - what's in it for the poor?

    Posted by Tim

    7 May, 2012

    As Australia focuses on the Federal Budget and how our hip pockets will be affected, Christians are called to view it in another way. Jim Wallis of the Sojourners community in the US has often referred to federal budgets as moral documents. He recently pointed out that budgets reveal our nation’s priorities – who is important and who is not, and what is important and what is not. One very important priority for our nation is that of our overseas aid and development expenditure. As I have said elsewhere recently, most Australians don’t realise how little our Government gives in this area. Our current level of overseas aid sits at just 35 cents per every $100 of GNI. As Christians we are called to view the Federal Budget in terms of how God wants us to use our nation’s finances. It is about caring for the ‘least of these’ as described by Jesus in Matthew 25. This parable near the end of Matthew’s Gospel is a call to the nations; it seems to be talking about how the nations have treated the least of these. It is a call… read more

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  • A Hollywood blockbuster with a twist...

    Posted by Lucy

    24 April, 2012

    I had a great idea for a movie. A political drama. George Clooney or Matt Damon as male lead, and there’s a young, feisty, female journalist who gets caught up in it all. The opening scene spans a meeting room high up in skyscraper land, with a marble round table, jugs of iced water and leaders of a big global development bank. “Gentlemen, you should be proud,” says the silver fox, “This policy forges the path to education for the poorest of the poor.” Clapping and shaking hands all around. Cut to the brilliant green and brown of a remote village high up in Indonesia’s mountains. Children, gorgeous and laughing, walk kilometres of terrain to a tiny, one-teacher school. The camera pans back to the village, where a little girl stares wistfully after them. The shot widens to show that she has clubfoot; her feet twisted inwards. As opening credits scroll on, we know there is no way she could walk to school… I haven’t worked out the complete script yet, but there are plenty of true stories to draw from. One billion… read more

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  • In the Delhi of night

    Posted by Nils

    6 March, 2012

    Leaving India at two o’clock in the morning to catch our flight to our next destination, I stopped to reflect on the past previous ten days in this fascinating country. What had we learned? What could we take away? India is like no place on Earth. Of course that could be said of any place, but there is something about this country that I haven't found in other countries I've visited. For instance, Western countries have a vaguely similar way of life to each other. They are capitalistic, democratic, and predicated on the notion of economic growth. India however is different. It is a mixture of ancient and modern; it is founded on deep religious principles yet is being intruded upon by the forces of Western secularism. As an Indian colleague of mine pointed out, there is a tension in the country between a fervent desire to be like or imitate the West, and at the same time a disdain for the West and its influences. Perhaps it is this last reason which explains why India is - currently at least - able to maintain this tension. I wonder how long it can… read more

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  • India and the gospels

    Posted by Nils

    14 February, 2012

    Poverty is in your face in India. It is a constant daily reality that cannot be ignored. As I tried to allow the reality of what I saw in India impact me, I was struck by how much the Gospel comes more alive in such a place, where social norms are much closer to how they were back in biblical times. There is a distinct class difference in India, mainly because of the caste system, which, while officially outlawed, still determines people’s lot in life. While India is making swift economic advances, it is crucial to remember that, in the DNA of of the country, economic growth is not inclusive. This fact is put in perspective when we remember that there are 836 million poor people in India and only 200 million non-poor, despite extraordinary economic growth of recent years. The Gospel came more alive to me in India because it was easier to see how it is the answer to poverty in India. In Hinduism, which still forms the background of much Indian culture, to aspire to something more than what you are is a sin. So, as always when approaching the Gospel, you need… read more

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