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.

  • JB's Final Thoughts

    Posted by John

    22 December, 2014

    After 10 years of helping Christians and churches hold governments around the world to account for their promises to halve world poverty by 2015, the first phase of the Micah Challenge campaign will come to an end this month. The overwhelming sense amongst our wonderful partners is that beyond 2015 and the end date for the MDGs there will be much to do. (These messages from 7 kids born in the year 2000 is an inspiring reminder of why we need to finish what we started.) We feel deep in our hearts that a real opportunity exists to take this work to another level, so we will be reopening these doors again in the first half of 2015. Our supporters and the public will see a fresh brand and a new vision, but they will experience the same commitment to ensuring that Christians are advocating for and with the global poor. As Micah Challenge closes its doors, it’s also time for me to move on to new things. I have had the enormous privilege of helping to guide this work for almost 6 years. Now it’s time to say farewell. I know that Ben and the team here will… read more

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  • The Next Major Breakthrough In Ending Poverty

    Posted by John

    8 July, 2014

    Last week a story appeared in our national papers highlighting the fact that Glencore, the third largest multinational mining company operating in Australia, had earned $15 billion in profits over the last 3 years, yet they had paid zero taxes! That’s outrageous by anyone’s standards. This is not a new problem. For decades an intricate system of tax havens has been developing across our world which facilitates secrecy in financial transactions and enables dodgy deals by corrupt government officials and criminals. But contrary to popular misconceptions, this is not primarily a problem caused by corrupt dictators and criminals. Of all the money that flows out of poor countries, 65% of it is taken out by multinational companies who are dodging paying their fair share of tax. Each year developing countries lose at least $160 billion from this tax dodging. This is more money than these countries receive in aid. This is money that rightfully belongs to the citizens of these poor countries. Politicians have known about this problem for a long time, but… read more

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  • Shining the Light on tax dodging and corruption

    Posted by John

    18 June, 2014

    About 8 years ago my predecessor in Australia, the wonderful Amanda Jackson, had an idea to take a bunch of ordinary Christians from different backgrounds and denominations to Parliament House in our nation’s capital city to meet face to face with our nation’s political leaders. People told Amanda she was crazy. ‘Lobbying is for professionals’ they said. Eight years on, Voices for Justice, our annual national gathering for Micah Challenge Australia, is now widely regarded as one of the best campaigning events in the country. On 23-24 June this year 220 ordinary Australians will once again split up into groups and meet face to face with more than 100 politicians over a period of two days. Each year, as Voices for Justice approaches, we think strategically about the message we need to convey into our Parliament. This year the choice is simple. We believe we need to use Voices for Justice to shine the light on tax dodging and corruption, which is draining more than $160 billion out of developing nations. This is money that is rightfully… read more

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  • Making the most of every opportunity

    Posted by John

    1 April, 2014

    One of the greatest discoveries of my adult Christian life has been the idea that God’s plan is not all about me. Most people probably learnt that pretty early on, but I’m a slow learner. This discovery has been at the forefront of my mind as we have been planning our campaigns for 2014. At the end of each year at Micah Challenge we take a look forward to the coming year and try to work out where our time and resources would be best spent. As we looked at this year, we had a clear sense that this is a year of opportunity. In light of that, we have decided to use a passage from Eph 5:15-16 as one of our motivations for the year. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. I’m always wary of using passages like this as a simple justification for a campaign message. The word ‘opportunity’ doesn’t turn up many times in the Bible. Does it really make sense to use this reference as a justification to engage people in issues of global justice?… read more

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