Christian Responses to Globalization

Promoting Democracy. This is not democracy understood as majority rule or merely Western-style electoral politics, but as public accountability, transparency, and grassroots participation. Not only national governments but also powerful transnational actors such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO have to be challenged to become more participatory and truly accountable.

Given that the church is the only truly global community in the world, why cannot some lawyers and economists from the worldwide church offer their services free of charge to poor nations to, for example, secure fair terms of trade at WTO meetings?

Tackling Corruption. Corruption and tax evasion are two principal contributors to the poverty of the global South. Rich corporations and executives store their profits in offshore tax havens, even as they enjoy the public goods (such as parks, roads, airports, and universities) that local taxpayers make possible. Corruption in poor nations would not be possible without the tacit support, and often the active involvement, of rich corporations, banks, and governments in the North.

Why can’t Christian churches and NGOs put pressure on European and American banks to give back the billions of dollars they have received from corrupt Third World politicians and military generals—money stolen from the Third World poor? We should also demand that the Swiss banking system be reformed and that the status of offshore tax havens be withdrawn.

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Sojourners Magazine May 2004
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