Hierodeacon Petar GRAMATIKOV
Translation from Bulgarian of an excerpt of article
published in NATSIONALEN PODEM
Newspaper, 42 (235) Issue,
dated 2-8 November 2005.
Lately, it is talked more and more of Islamic banking and Islamic insurance, penetrating Europe. Little is known, however, of the initiatives of Christian churches for regulating the financial situation of religious Christian organizations in the age of global secularism.
In January 2005 financial world was blown up by the great success of the Investment Fund to the Anglican Church in Great Britain, which realized huge incomes. It is an example of profitable, sound, risk-free and at the same time covering matters of ethnic nature investments, made in companies, which observe all normative acts on environmental protection, guarantee for non-discrimination of any kind and provide safe working and living conditions.
Another very successful fund is The Century Fund, established in 1994 by World Student Christian Federation, which is an ecumenical organization, existing since 1895. It works in beneficial partnership with the Churches and student and youth movements all over the world. Having started with the amount of 1 million US dollars, the Fund combines Christian ethics and investment in different spheres of activity with the purpose of raising resources for a Christian association among Christian students. The interests and earnings, received by the fund, are used for international programmes, international and regional cooperation as well as for supporting the Programme for Ecumenical Assistance through humanitarian initiatives for churches in developing and non-developing countries: higher education, settlement of conflicts and peace-making, theology and spirituality and other spheres of present interest. More than one hundred national movements are members of the Federation as they both make a profit of and give their contribution to the prosperity and activity of the World Student Christian Federation. This Investment Ecumenical Fund is a real opportunity for investing in the future and is established as a legal entity in Geneva.
On its part, in the period from 10th to 16th of April this year the World Council of Churches in Geneva initiated the organization of World Week of Initiatives on matters of commerce, as it encouraged all member-churches (347 in number from more than 120 countries) and other organizations from the non-governmental sector to participate in it.
A Bulgarian non-governmental organization, “Help the needy” Foundation in the city of Plovdiv, has joined in the signing of the Petition, which impugns the assertion that business liberalization contributes to the reduction of poverty.
(to be continued)