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.

  • Public Christians in a post-Christian society?

    Posted by John

    21 March, 2014

    The Micah challenge team has spent the last few days at the Rethinking: Public Faith Conference in Sydney. Our teacher, guide and conversation partner over these days has been Yale Professor Miroslav Volf, who many saw on the Q&A program on Monday night. The central concept of the conference has been rethinking the way we engage with society, as opposed to what we say when we do engage. It’s an important topic. We have looked at the church’s complicity and/or lack of response on a variety of issues including child sexual abuse and our response to refugees. We have much to rethink! What do you think? What are your impressions of the way that Christians are engaging in the public space? The Conference has been food for thought personally. It has caused me to begin the process of rethinking, or engaging in fresh thinking, about the nature of our engagement around the three issues Micah Challenge is currently campaigning about. For example, as we enter into a heightened period of campaigning about transparency and tax dodging, I am reminded that we… read more

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  • Why I'm buying Joe Hockey a goat this Christmas

    Posted by John

    18 December, 2013

    For the last 3 years my wife and I have received goats for Christmas. The practise of buying a gift on behalf of a friend for someone in need elsewhere has become a common part of Christmas for many of us. And it’s a great idea. It makes a difference in the lives of poor people and communities while at the same time keeping some of the potential excess of Christmas in check. I confess that I mostly stay out of the gift buying in our house. I hope that most of the ‘Aussie male’ stereotypes don’t apply to me, but on this one I am guilty. But this year is different. This year I’ll be buying a goat....and giving it to my MP, Joe Hockey. Why would I buy Joe Hockey a goat this Christmas? A little bit of back story..... Many of you will know that two days before the election, my Federal MP Mr Hockey, at the time the would-be Treasurer, stood in front of the cameras and advised the Australian people that the Coalition, if elected, would be cutting $4.5 billion from the aid budget over the next 4 years, thereby breaking a promise that the… read more

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  • Mourning with those who mourn: A response to Typhoon Haiyan

    Posted by John

    11 November, 2013

    Reports this morning are estimating that as many as 10,000 people have been killed in the Philippines as a result of the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan in recent days. One of our nearest neighbours, the Philippines, is home to approximately 100 million people, with some 45% of them living on less than $2/day. The widespread poverty, particularly in the rural regions, exacerbates the impact of the storms that occur in this nation that is prone to natural disasters. Would you join us in prayer today for the people of the Philippines? As we prayed this morning, in our office, there were few words that we could offer. We prayed for God’s mercy to those who are suffering. We prayed for relief efforts, for the government and for NGOs. The Philippines are an important friend for Australia. Many Filipinos call Australia home and will have families who are directly impacted by this crisis. The Philippines are fellow members of ASEAN and the South East Asian Community. Our collective futures and our prosperity in this ‘Asian… read more

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  • Coalition's aid announcement makes us question our identity

    Posted by John

    6 September, 2013

    Yesterday Mr Abbott, Mr Hockey and the Coalition announced a $4.5 billion cut to the foreign aid budget to fund roads in Australia. The response from the media and the public has been strong and swift. There are clearly many Australians who are committed to fighting poverty in all its forms. There are many who understand that we are dealing with the real lives of marginalised people, and not just the stroke of an accountant’s keyboard. This morning I read through more than 1200 emails that had already been sent through our site to Mr Abbott. The most striking thing for me as I read people’s comments is that this is now about more than the global poor (as if that isn’t enough). While the context is about foreign aid, it is now much bigger than that. We are now not only dealing with questions about our actions, but also with deeper questions about our identity. People are responding out of a deep disconnect between who we say we are as Australians (and aspire to be) and the current priorities of our nation. Clearly this has been driven in large… read more

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