Emperor haile Selassie of Ethiopia has appealed to world church leaders to ensure that aid given by Christian organisations should be free from political motivation.
Emperor haile Selassie of Ethiopia has appealed to world church leaders to ensure that aid given by Christian organisations should be free from political motivation. He was opening the annual central committee meeting of the World Council of Churches in Addis Ababa on Sunday (10 January) -- a meeting dominated in its early stages by the question of support for political groups.
The Emperor appealed for Christian aid to be directed exclusively towards the welfare of mankind. He declared that the occurrence of "short-sighted ideological or political motives" in offers of assistance was a betrayal of Christian ideals.
In his official welcome to the Emperor and members of the committee, acting Patriarch Abuna Theophilos of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church said that this week's meeting has especial importance for African countries.
He added that no Christian could afford to ignore the problems of poverty, racial discrimination and underdevelopment on the continent. He urged committee members to continue to take positive action in fighting oppression in Africa.
The policy-making committee was later informed of the results of the controversial action of the World Council of Churches to grant aid to African liberation movements.
Eighteen months ago, grants of 200,000 dollars (83,000 sterling) were made to 19 organisations, 11 of them associated with freedom movements in Africa. An unforeseen result had been to harm valuable ecumenical programmes, both in South Africa and Rhodesia and in Europe.