[notice]EXPOSED, an international Christian campaign aimed at exposing and tackling corruption is being officially launched in London today. Dr Dion Forster, International Co-ordinator of EXPOSED, explains how Christians in South Africa can participate.[/notice]Unashamedly Ethical (UE), a South-Africa-based movement that promotes ethics around the world, is a founding partner of the campaign ‘EXPOSED – Shining a light on corruption’ (14-20 October 2013). Your voice and your witness as a South African Christian — and possibly a member of UE — are an important part of what God is going to do through this 1 year Christian response to global corruption! Corruption has a name, poverty has a face, and you have a voice! You can add your voice to the 100 million Christians who are taking a stand against corruption at http://www.exposed2013.com
Quarter of Africa’s GDP lost to corruption
Why should there be a global Christian campaign against corruption? According to the World Bank US$1 Trillion goes missing each year as a result of corruption across the globe. In Africa alone corruption costs the continent US$148 Billion. That is 25% of the total GDP of the continent.
These losses have a direct impact upon you and I. Corruption increases the cost of products and services since the cost of bribes, or inflated prices, are passed on to consumers and taxpayers. Corruption also limits the development of infrastructure and services. When corrupt business steal money from the government through colluding on tenders, not declaring their income, and not paying their taxes, less roads can be built, fewer schools can be supplied with teachers and resources such as books, hospitals are underfunded and understaffed, security and justice are undermined and our safety is put at risk. In some situations corrupt individuals cause an imbalance in justice in a nation – people with more money and influence don’t get prosecuted for crimes and eventually the rule of law in a nation collapses. It is always the poorest members of society who suffer the effects of corruption most acutely. In some parts of Africa women must pay bribes to get basic medical support when giving birth to their babies. Some people won’t have access to clean water because of incompetence and maladministration in local governments. Grants intended for the elderly, the sick, and the young may never reach their intended recipients, and so they will go without food, shelter and clothing.
It is estimated that it would take just 1 per cent of the world’s GDP to eradicate extreme poverty. In other words, we could ensure that every living person had enough food, clean water, sufficient medical assistance, and access to education. However, because of our greed, or because we do not act against those who are corrupt, very little is done to ensure that no one has too much while another person has too little.
What is clear is that it does not please God! In fact the Bible tells us to, “Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows” (Isaiah 1.17 NLT).
You can make a difference!
We want everyone to do 3 things to support the campaign:
1. Take personal action to take a stand against corruption (you can download a toolkit from our website http://www.exposed2013.com).
2. Take local action be joining or organising a Vigil against Corruption between 14-20 October 2013 in your community.
3. Take action that will have national and international impact by adding your voice to our Global Call which we’ll deliver to leaders of the world’s most powerful nations. You can add your name on the EXPOSED website.
Let’s make a difference, let’s shine our light!