In January 2017, I participated in a global consultation on Social Protection and Diakonia at Sigtuna, Sweden, hosted by the Church of Sweden. The word ‘Diakonia’ is a Greek term and equates with ‘ministry.’ People from twenty countries gathered to discuss the issue of social protection and ask what is the role and voice of church and faith based actors in the issue of social protection – and how to relate this to the responsibility of States to fulfill everyone’s right to social protection. Among the participants were members of Norwegian Church Aid. Good Shepherd had long -standing relationships with them dating back to the early days in Ethiopia when they funding Bethlehem Training Center.
It was a privilege for me to be invited to participate in the discussion and reflection integrating scripture and social policy. The statement is the outcome. I suggest that this could be a reflection/prayer/discernment document for use by sisters and mission partners on social protection and taxation. It is certainly integrating spirituality and social policy and the sustainable development goals. As you know I have been a long time advocate on the need to implement national floors of social protection – moving from poverty to prosperity.
A video and statement has been prepared – and are now in three languages – English, Spanish and French.
Short Version – English only Video
Statement in three language:
We call on churches and faith based organizations everywhere to stand up and demand for fair redistribution of wealth and social protection as a matter of social justice and human rights. We affirm that social protection is an essential requirement for a just society, regardless of nationality, legal citizenship or the level of economic development in a country. We also believe that taxation is a fundamental instrument for redistribution and for financing the common good so that all can have life in dignity.