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Graham Power meeting Pope, attending G20 Summit, to campaign against corruption

 
Dr Graham Power.

Dr Graham Power.

South African Christian business leader Dr Graham Power will meet Pope Francis next week to discuss how Christians can make a stand against corruption and then he will travel to Brisbane, Australia to participate in a campaign to urge heads of government at the G20 Summit to take determined action on corruption and tax evasion.
 
The Pope, who is a strong advocate for the poor and sees corruption as the greatest barrier to ending poverty, asked to meet with Power, who is founder and chairman of Unashamedly Ethical (UE), says Dr Dion Forster, International Co-ordinator of EXPOSED, an international campaign against corruption. Calling for much prayer for the “historic week” of anti-corruption meetings, he says Power will be going to Brisbane as an international Christian leader (one of 90 leaders from every continent who signed an open letter calling on the G20 to end corruption) and representing the Partners of EXPOSED and UE.
 
exposed1The open letter, which was organised by EXPOSED, represents one billion Christians worldwide and will be presented to the G20 summit. It reminds the G20 that corruption ‘robs US$850 billion each year from developing nations through illicit financial flows’ and an additional ‘$160bn a year is lost through tax evasion’. EXPOSED calls this a conservative estimate which results in developing nations losing more through tax evasion than they receive in aid. EXPOSED believes this letter is the first move by such a wide constituency of the Church to take a stand on economic integrity issues. 

Lord Paul Boateng, Chair of the African Biblical Leadership Initiative (ABLI) and a member of UK’s House of Lords, says African leaders want to see change: ‘G20 leaders cannot afford to ignore what a community of one billion Christians round the world are telling them in EXPOSED’s open letter – that governments must take action on corruption, which traps millions in poverty in developing nations.’ 

Wake-up call
The letter has been used by national Christian leaders in the past six months as a wake-up call to their own governments. Leaders have demanded action on local issues including land-grabbing, bribery and the disappearance of millions of dollars in tendering processes and contracts. In Brazil alone, over 300 Christian leaders signed the letter. 

Senior African church leader and signee Rev Dr Suzanne Matale says: ‘We in the Church are angry about corruption in business because it’s stealing the livelihood of millions of people. It’s incumbent upon the G20 countries to take action against those companies and multinationals who are registered with them, to make sure they conform to the same high standards that they would expect in their own countries.’ 

The open letter has been sent to all G20 leaders and will be presented in person to Australian MPs and a Treasury official, at a public event in Brisbane on 7 November (UK time), one week before the G20 meeting. Australia holds the presidency of the G20 this year and plays a crucial role in setting the priorities for the meeting. Philippine church leader and the letter’s author Bishop Efraim Tendero will hand the letter over. He says: ‘Corruption is a daily part of the news here in the Philippines. In the past year it has come to light that discretionary funds in the hands of politicians, totalling $2.2m, have been diverted through bogus non-government organisations.’

Rev Joel Edwards, who heads EXPOSED, says: ‘Good economic practices make sense for all nations and they help business to flourish if we all play by the same rules. If the G20 fails to act or only takes half-hearted action, then it’s the poor who will suffer most –  most definitely the poor in developing nations, but also the poor in Europe and Australia. Brisbane’s meeting is a crucial time to see resolute action.’ 

The letter states that siphoning off vital funds from developing countries means that people die because of poor healthcare provision or because funds are diverted into the pockets of officials: ‘The lives of 230 children could be saved every day if corruption issues were addressed.’ 

G20 nations, which control 85% of the world’s economic activity, have already begun to tackle corporate bribes, profit shifting and tax evasion. EXPOSED urges leaders to act not only in their own interests but on behalf of small and poor communities by providing clear, open information and funding, so that developing nations can access and use data from multinationals and governments.  Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey has gone public on the need for accountability by the G20: ‘These commitments will be meaningless if they don’t translate into real outcomes.’

 

 
 

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5 Comments

  1. Johan Visser says:

    It is a good cause to fight corruption. Unashamedly Ethical is on the surface a great movement but Christians must remember it is NOT a Christian movement (I do not find it anywhere on their website “About Us”). However, Graham Powers is a well-known Evangelical leader which begs some questions- Why is an Evangelical leader willing to meeting a Catholic Pope? What is the pope’s real intentions? Is it part of the movement to bring Evangelicals and Catholics under one antichrist umbrella? The devil’s New Age agenda clearly wants to see Evangelicals and Catholics under the pope on its way to a false unity and eventually syncretism. BUYER BEWARE!

  2. Chris & Louise Spengler says:

    Wow! My bible teaches me not to Judge. Love your neighbour (in this case the Catholic next door) and I can assure you the intention of Graham Power and the organisation he founded “Unashamedly Ethical” being based on Godly principles, will draw more to Christianity than any public judgemental viewpoint. For that matter do you know for certain that The Pope or Mother Theresa for that matter are not “saved”? God created us all with a freedom of choice “draw all men unto me” scripture says NOT “ban all unbelieving men from my presence”.
    Simon of Sirene and many many others were drawn to Jesus because of his good works. Perhaps you do not connect this campaign with good works. Remember the Lord still works in mysterious ways.

  3. Patrick Kuwana says:

    I find it interesting that Jesus and Paul (as two examples) openly engaged and interacted with the religious, governmental and business leaders – both Godly and ungodly. In fact Paul (the greatest proponent of the Gospel) was the greatest hater of believers and murderer of followers of Christ) but he had a dramatic turnaround. I wonder how many people who are seemingly working against the plans of God today will be transformed and turned to God (like Paul) if we avoid them.