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Church leaders ask prime minister for "Jubilee budget".

Leaders of 14 member churches of the Canadian Council of Churches (including the Moderator of the 125th General Assembly, Rev. Arthur Van Seters) have weighed in to the final stages of debate around the federal budget for the year 2000. They are calling for priority attention to three areas of need: child poverty in Canada, international debt and foreign aid.

A letter to Prime Minister Jean Chretien, dated January 10, was signed by leaders of churches whose roots in Canada pre-date Confederation and of churches whose members have begun life in Canada as recently as the 1970s. The letter's authors named the year 2000 as a moment for realizing the biblical vision of Jubilee by working to restore a central place for many who have been excluded from a dignified livelihood.

The January 10 initiative builds on several earlier ecumenical forays into the negotiations around the budget. A midsummer letter to every member of the federal Liberal caucus from the Council's Commission on Justice and Peace underlined the churches' concerns for families raising children and struggling in the lopsided Canadian job market. And in November, the Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative (supported by many of the council's member churches) made a "Jubilee year" budget submission to the House of Commons Finance Committee. It pleaded the case of the 20 per cent of Canadian children who live under the Statistics Canada poverty line, and for the 1.3 billion people around the world who survive on less than a dollar a day.


Nearly five years ago, Christian Reformed World Literature Ministries began the task of translating John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion into Russian. The third and fourth volumes were completed this year. At the St. Petersburg Christian Book Fair, the work was honoured with first prize in the theological book category.

In a country dominated by the Russian Orthodox Church, John Calvin is often considered a heretic, said World Literature director John De Jager. "This award will elevate the credibility of Calvin's work," he said. Moscow State University published the book as a work of philosophy. World Literature provided project management and financial support.

"Our hope is that over the next 100 to 200 years, Calvin's work will be foundational in building a new Russian society, in the same way that it has been foundational in western society," De Jager said.
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Publication:Presbyterian Record
Date:Mar 1, 2000
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