Ecumenical News International

Bedford-Strohm criticizes unjust distribution of wealth

November 19, 2014

München (epd). Speaking on the Day of Repentance and Prayer (observed in German Protestant churches towards the end of the church year), Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), has called for "public repentance" for the unequal distribution of world wealth. "There is still a golden curtain separating the poor and the rich worlds," said the Lutheran bishop of Bavaria on Wednesday in his sermon in St Matthew's church, Munich.

The 85 richest people in the world possess as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest. In his (distributed) sermon, Bedford-Strohm called it a "sad reality that every day many thousands of people die because they do not have the food or medicine they need. That is a declaration of bankruptcy for our economic system."

The higher number of refugees coming to Europe is a consequence of this worldwide injustice, Bedford-Strohm asserted in a service of worship on public television. "The people coming have suffered so much hardship at home that their only hope is to find their way over the Mediterranean to Europe on overcrowded boats."

In this context, Bedford-Strohm also criticized the trading policy of the industrialized countries. It is still understood as "an instrument of their own economic interests", he said. Instead, poor countries need protected markets to be able to sell their own products there. There is still no "exact construction plan for the global economy, in which all could live with dignity", the bishop continued. However, the Day of Repentance and Prayer can encourage us "never to accept the present situation".



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