While the situation in Sudan remains dire (and could worsen as the country faces volatile elections this spring), Christians can celebrate a recent story of hope: the first major U.S. mutual fund holder has divested holdings in companies who buy oil from the genocidal regime in Khartoum. TIAA-Cref has sold all of its shares in four major companies whose oil purchases help to pay for the violent atrocities that still rage in Sudan: China's PetroChina, CNPC Hong Kong, Sinopec, and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. As CEO Roger Ferguson explains in TIAA-Cref's press release, "our decision to sell shares in these companies culminated a three-year effort to encourage them to end their ties to Sudan or attempt to end suffering there." Although TIAA-Cref only held a small percentage of these four companies' shares, their boldness sets an example for other U.S. mutual fund giants to emulate.
Not only can people of faith celebrate when businesses like TIAA-Cref make decisions of good conscience, but we can also urge other companies to do the same. As Jesus taught us, "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). Are our assets helping to fund genocide? Whether our assets are bountiful or bare, we can still raise our voices to tell other investment firms to divest holdings that support bloodshed in Sudan. Visit Investors Against Genocide to learn more.
Melanie Weldon-Soiset is a Policy and Organizing Associate at Sojourners and a third year Master of Divinity student at Wesley Theological Seminary.