Excerpt From: Message of faith will be delivered to delegates
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Gene Tibbs, a staff member of the evangelical Coalition for Christian Outreach at the University of Pittsburgh, wants to show people what to pray for and show that advocacy works. He is coordinator of Drop the Debt, Pitt's affiliate of Jubilee USA, a faith-based effort to cancel the debt of the poorest nations.
The word "jubilee" comes from the Bible, where Leviticus 25 designates every 50th year as a time to forgive debts and free slaves.
"The overarching message for us as Christians, who strongly believe in the moral component of justice, is to hold the G-20 to account for the promises they made in London," Mr. Tibbs said.
For instance, the G-20 urged the International Monetary Fund to sell gold reserves to benefit nations where people were starving. His group will hand out report cards showing how such promises have been kept.
Jubilee USA is sponsoring a speaker from Zambia, Privilage Haangandu, debt program manager with Jubilee Zambia and the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection. Mr. Haangandu will explain how money that might be spent on roads and schools and the development of small businesses and farms goes to pay off ill-gotten debt.
But he will also explain how past promises by the G-20 caused the IMF and World Bank to grant relief that allowed Zambia to drop some fees for public schools.
"That has allowed an additional million children to go to school every day. That is one of the more exciting developments of the last few years in Zambia alone and it's a direct result of the debt campaign," Mr. Tibbs said.
Mr. Haangandu will speak Sept. 21 at the People's Summit, a self-described "informed dialogue" about social justice and the G-20. Details are at www.peoplessummit.com.