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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 8, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta Things the Reader's Digest didn't say... (In Us November Hall {iriiclu on lln> World Council of Churches) -Wednesday, December 8, 1971 THE LETHBRIDGC HERALD 3 "J70LI-OWJXG arc some par- 1 tici'.lars about the WCG racism grants v.'iiich ihci article docs not, mention or IKI.S incor- rect Tim money, in amounts rang- ing from to was given in every for liu- inaiiiUu'inn ]t 11 r pose s. Pro- grams of education, general welfare, defence, medical care, and the like were under- written with all of the 19 re- cipient organizations. Mr. Hall must have known this if lie did even a minimum amount of re- search; yel nowhere is the hu- manitarian purpose of the grants suggested in his article. The original impetus for the WCC's anti-racism program came from the delegates them- selves at the lOfifl WCC Gen- eral Assembly in Uppsala, Sweden. That meeting, which represents the highest author- ity for determining WCC pro- gram and policy, was conven- ed just a few months following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The absence of Dr. King, who had been sched- uled to keynote the assembly, and the general climate of that summer in growing awareness of racism, produced a surge of concern that the churches ad- dress the problem worldwide. It is simply not true, as Mr Hall says, that1 the concern was "engineered7' by a small group of staff in Geneva. Tito docu- mentation war; available had Mr. Hall it- React ion 1 o the announce- ment of ihc grants in Septem- ber 1970 tended to be strongly favorable or strongly critical. The Hall article qunies critical comment exclusively. S'lrong support cnmc from widely dif- fering groups and individuals, including Que-jn Juliana of the Netherlands and the Lutheran World Federal ion. The Queen marta ;i personal contribution to I he anti-rncism fund and the several months later made its own grant of to one of the groups in Portu- guese Africa which the WCC had aided. Pope Paul VI gave an audience Jo the loaders of the liberation groups in Portu- guese Africa. 'Some German church leaders did question the grants, but following the In- lense debate in Germany sev- eral churches in Germany sent significant contributions to the fund. And while their church leaders were studying the issue, many individual Ger- man Christians began making voluntary contributions equal to a day's pay per month. The great majority of black African Christians have been vigorous in support of the. grants. The All African Confer- ence of Churches executive com m ittee unanimously en- dorsed Ihc action. The head of the Organization for African Unity said that no action by world Christianity could have done as much to open the doors and hearts of Africans to the message of Christianity. Yet, in the typical insensitive fashion of the white man's press the world over, not one black voice is quoted in the entire Hall ar- ticle. The Digest does not tell us how Africans themselves, Christians and otherwise, felt about the grants. As numerous Christian mis- sionaries from Europe and America have discovered in southern Africa, there is no middle ground left to be occu- pied. Time and again, those churchmen who have stood with the oppressed have been threaten ed, imprisoned, or forced to leave. The govern- ments of both South Africa and Portuguese Africa claim to be Christian one Protestant, the other Roman Catholic. For decades they have aligned the church with repression. They have made the Cross seem a symbol of injustice to many black Africans. The question is not whether the church is in- volved. It is involved, for these governments claim it as an ally. The question is whether the church is silent when tyrants claim its support of op- pression. In that situation, al church w h i c h is silent ceases to be Christian. The WCC grants, modest as they are, have shifted a little bit of the Cliristian identification to the other side. Though the Digest article could not imagine it. a reading of the New Testament would suggest that Jesus just might choose the side of the op- pressed, that he just might be asking his church to give IIP- nianitarian assistance to fighting for I heir freedom and to abandon churcbly support, ac- tive or silent, of a terrorizing and violent status quo. It is claimed that Communist nations have made grants to some of the same indepen- dence movements in southern Africa. It would be a grave misfortune if the rest of the w o r I d allowed these move- ments to become indebted solely lo the Communists. The government of the United States seems lo recognize how short-sighted that would be, .since there is evidence that it also has been giving assistance lo some of the same1 groups m southern Africa. Krccdom- loving persons everywhere should be able to rejoice that agencies of the- West hope- fully even the U.S. government offering the help which keeps Communist influence from entirely filling the vac- uum. Mr. Half's simplistic analysis docs nut mention the pluralistic and widespread na- lure of support enjoyed by the liberation movements. Finally, the Digest is fully entitled to lake a position of The controversial WCC grants rjN September 3, 1970 the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches announced that in WCC funds would be disbursed to 19 organizations struggling for ra- cial justice in various parts of the world. The 19 groups receiv- ing granls (which range from to are located in many regions of the world, though the concentration is in southern Africa. Following is a brief description of the 19 or- ganizations selected, their aims, ar.d the amounts grant- ed: AUSTRALIA 1. Federal Council for the Advancement o f Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. An organization supporting land ti- tle rights of Aboriginal peoples, concerned especially with legal action. 2. National Tribal Council. New organization created by Aboriginals aiming at (1) or- ganizing campaign to establish local councils for political ex- pression, and (2) national cam- paign of political and educa- tive nature directed toward white population and power structure. JAPAN. International Commit- tee to Combat the Immigration Bill. Organization of Korean and Chinese minority groups working for change in pro- posed Japanese Immigration Bill xvhieh hes racist over- tones, causing fear that minor- ity groups would lose basic hu- man rights. COLOMBIA. Committee for the Defense of the fndian. Sun- ports Indian groups involved in studying causes ('md processes which have produced the "In- dian problem" (there arc an estimated half million Indians in UNITED KINGDOM. West In- dian Standing Conference. Um- brella organization far 16 groups with members to- tal. Request is to help organi- zation promote solidarity among black community in Britain, toward creation of black power base which could effectively defend interests of this minority. UNITED KINGDOM. Efforts on behalf of southern Africa, through three organizations: 1. Africa Bureau. Aims to im- prove understanding in Britain about current problems in southern Africa, toward change in British policies that affect racial tyranny in south- ern Africa. 52.500. 2. Anti-Apartheid Movement. In close touch with African governments a n d liberation movements in southern Africa. Organized national campaigns against all-while sports teams from South Africa and against British arms sale to South Africa. 3. International Defence and Aid Fund. Provides legal de- fence for opponents of racial policies in Africa, welfare aid to families of those executed, iinprLsuncd, or ban- How will he know O unless you tell him! U STOCKING STUFFERS COLLEGE SHOPPING MALL 20lb AVE. and MAYOR MAGRATH DRIVE Open Dully 9 o.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Telephone 327-2243. ishect for political beliefs, as- sists with education of political prisoners and their families. S3.000. NETHERLANDS. Angola Com- mittee, and Dr. Eduardo Mond- lane Foundation. T w o organi- zations planning joint action in co-operation with othor groups in continental Europe, under the, new "Foundation for Pro- motion of Information About Racism and Colonialism.'1 Aims are to produce- documen- tion concerning s o u I h e r n Africa in Dutch and English. ZAMBIA. Africa 2COO Project. Program based next-door to white-controlled southern Afri- ca which aims to expose eco- nomic, political, social and ra- cial structures which exploit human beings and to replace them by more just structures (before the year S15.000. MOZAMBIQUE. Institute of Frelimo. Institute is educa- tional-social welfare ami of Frelimo, which claims control over one-fifth of Mozambique. Is now setting up development plan fcr free Mozambique, in- cluding organization of agricul- tural co-operatives and social, educational, and health ser- vices. ANGOLA. Each of three move- ments is in control of substan- tial territory (together they claim one-third of the country') and is developing emergency economic, educational, health, and social welfare programs, which are almost totally lack- ing: 1. MPLA (Moviir.ento Popu- lar rie Libertacao de 2. GRAE (Govcmo Revolu- cionaria de Angola no 3. UNITA (Uniao National para a Independcncia Total de G U I N E E BISSAO. PAIGC (Partido Africano de Indepen- dencia da Guinee c Cabo Probably controls two- th'irds of this small colony in west Africa. Is developing eco- nomic, educational, social wel- fare, and health programs and already operates two hospitals and school programs for some 12.0CO children. T.KODESIA 1. Zimbabwe African Nation- al Union Requests support for its information ser- vice and for assistance to wives and children of refugees, detainees, and freedom fight- ers. S10.000. 2. Zimbabwe African People's Union Requests sup- port for relief of destitute fam- ilies whose breadwinners are in prison, have been killed, or are in military service for lib- eration of lltcir country. Relief includes school fees for chil- dren, food and clothing, and le- gal aid to prisoners, si0.000. SOUTH AFRICA. African Na- tional Congress. Movement cre- ated by Nobel Prize Winner Chief Albert Luthuli and activc as political party in South Afri- ca until banned. Requests sup- port fcr launching of "Luthuli Memorial Foundation" to in- from world public opinion a b o u I. alternatives to present apartheid regime, to do re- search, and lo assist victims of apartheid. S10.000. SOUTH WEST AFHK'A (NA- South West African People's Organization. Re- quests help for education of students in and outside Nami- bia, issuing information bulle- tin on Namibian situation, food and medical care to Namibians living in Zambia. The groups a p p 1 y i n g for grants all agreed lo use (ho funds only for non-military purposes, Ihat. i s, in social, medical, educational, and gen- eral relief activity. Grants do not equal unqualified endorse- ment of every lactic used by a recipient just as traditional relief activities among the victims of the Ni- gerian civil war or Ihe South- east Asia eonflicl do not imply approval of Ihe politics or strategy of any of the parties involved. The grants do represent gen- eral support, from the WCC for Ihc long-term goals toward which the organizations are working. And Ihis, more than (he relatively small amounts of money involved, is the chief .significance of Ihe action. (WCC New York office) ffi-UOWI opposition to the WCC action. The merits of the anti-racism grants will be debated, in church and out, for years come. Honorable men awl women can be found on bolh sides of the argument. That is perhaps inevitable with an ac- tion which seeks to break new ground in cliurchly response to injuslicc; indeed, the educa- tional gain purchased by ihc worldwide debate is a powerful .side benefit from Ihc action. (Coininilti-r (if Interpretation, York Office, World Council of Churches) y three sons preneurs, the risk-takers, who arc on Ihe forefront of technological possibilities, who are the innovators in our society. They arc the catalytic agent.- v.ii'j bring science and technology inlo the mar- Mr. Quiltetiton is 1'rcsident of St. Clair College of Applied Alls unil Technology in Windsor. The following is his address lo (he annual ruiiinu'niTtiicnt at Jilen- lirim District High School. j have three sons. As it happens, all are kct place. fond of the juice--electrical juice that mi.'' I in Brewmaker. Rrewmaker's in. ''Mr. Saindash cf Saladash Inc. Ins just hil a rost of Living Councillor on the jnw and to know if um'll defend him." lawmaker sh-'iol; his head sadly. (tl Ink! Salad.isli nnl to appear at the o( Living Council wilhoiil. a Hu! i guess I can't blame him. If I (vrK-irrcws and tried lo find out from (ho what I could charge for llvm, IM rvrn- lually hit somebody, ion." (Toronto Sun Nrv Great, optimist n.v Doug KHIEXD Don Bessie has In he one of the mosl optimistic piys alive. went golfing u'ecnlly nflor a considerable layoff. On the first Ice Don nil loose with a lerrifie swing and hil tire n font or two behind the ball without, disturbing iL I kept a disovel silcnio ;is i a in siii'h a silnatM.a. f address Ihe hall iiiwin. lint llvr immrdialo attcnlion to tlir hail busy Ilic UK flight of his drive. him In ;