The Road to Damascus

In July 1989 Christians from seven different nations -- El Salvador, Guatemala, Korea, Namibia, Nicaragua, the Philippines, and South Africa -- released The Road to Damascus: Kairos and Conversion. This powerful document involved hundreds of Christians in a process of consultation and dialogue that spanned two and a half years. The excerpts below offer a challenge and an invitation to Christians everywhere, and in particular to those of us in the United States. -- The Editors

The Roots of Our Conflict

EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF KOREA, which was colonized by Japan, the European nations that colonized our countries pride themselves on being Christian. Conquest and evangelization, colonization and the building of churches advanced together. The cross blessed the sword which was responsible for the shedding of our people's blood. The sword imposed the faith and protected the churches, sharing power and wealth with them.

Today, most Third World countries are no longer colonies, but we are still dominated by one or more imperial powers -- the United States, Japan and Western Europe. Their web of economic control includes an unfair international trade system, multinational companies that monopolize strategic sections of our economy, economic policies dictated by lending banks and governments together with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Even technology is used as a tool for domination. The staggering size of Third World debt is only one dramatic sign of our subordination to imperialism.

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