12 September 2005

Methodist reaction to Ofcom's decision on Make Poverty History ads

Anthea Cox, Methodist Coordinating Secretary for Public Life and Social Justice: "Many churches and faith groups are backing Make Poverty History, including the Methodist Church. We believing that striving to end poverty and aiding the poor is an integral part of our Christian faith. The decisions that affect the well-being of millions of people are necessarily political in nature, since only politicians and those they work with and appoint (such as central bankers) have the power to bring about the changes we seek. That all three main British political parties backed some or all of the goals of MPH shows that, whilst this campaign is played out in the political arena, it is not a party political issue.

"We appreciate Ofcom's point that it is not judging whether the MPH campaign is "good" or "bad" politics, and that is has had to reach a decision in an area it has not been called on before. Nonetheless, it is a concern that a campaign that many Methodists feel called to back because of their faith is now denied access to the public airwaves because it is dubbed political.

"The Make Poverty History campaign is continuing, with important decisions yet to be taken at the upcoming WTO meeting. The Methodist Church will continue to back it, celebrates what has already been achieved and hopes for good news from the rest of the campaign."

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