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“The Earth is God’s and all that is in it”

   
 


Willard Metzger, General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, met with leaders of 14 denominations and faith-based organizations at the Ecumenical Mining Conference in Toronto from May 1-3. Participants learned that Canada is home to 75% of the world’s mining and mineral exploration companies, and Canadian stock exchanges raise 40% of all mineral exploration capital worldwide. -photo by Simon Chambers/PWRDF

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May 20, 2011, UPDATE: See news stories from KAIROS related to the Ecumenical Mining Conference: English; French; Spanish

May 12, 2011
-Dan Dyck, with reports from KAIROS

Toronto, Ont. — Approximately 100 faith leaders representing 14 denominations and faith-based organizations – including Willard Metzger, General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada – met in Toronto from May 1-3 for the Ecumenical Mining Conference.

Participants learned that Canada is home to 75% of the world’s mining and mineral exploration companies, and Canadian stock exchanges raise 40% of all mineral exploration capital worldwide.

Metzger said that while some mining operators work to model socially responsible corporate leadership, the church has a responsibility to draw attention to people and practices where conditions are unjust.

“I heard a deep desire from those gathered to grow awareness and increase our ability as churches and faith-based organizations to speak about mining from a sound theological and ethical point of view,” Metzger said.

“Together with other voices of faith, Mennonite Church Canada as a national church can be active and influential in bridging the gap between marginalized people and land uses, and the mining industry in Canada.”

The group will continue working to connect church leaders in the affected South and in the North to support and empower affected communities, and hopes to mobilize congregations in speaking out for marginalized people and land.

To learn more about Canadian mining operations around the world, see the Mennonite Central Committee DVD, Mining Justice: Promoting justice for affected people, communities and the earth, available from the Mennonite Church Canada Resource Centre at www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/1530