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					12   Canadian Mennonite June 22, 2009




                                                         Viewpoints          E MCC counsels Canadian
                                                                             government on Afghanistan mission
              l Readers write                                                The following letter was sent to Prime Minister Stephen
                                                                             Harper on May 20 and appears on the mcc.org website.
                We welcome your comments and publish most letters sent
                by subscribers intended for publication. Respecting our      We write to offer our concerns and counsel re-
                theology of the priesthood of all believers and of the im-   garding Canada’s ongoing engagement in Afghanistan.
                portance of the faith community discernment process, this       Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has worked
                section is a largely open forum for the sharing of views.    in Afghanistan for over a decade, providing assist-
                Letters are the opinion of the writer only—publication       ance in the areas of food aid, education, irrigation and
                does not mean endorsement by the magazine or the church.     support for community-level peacebuilding. In the
                Letters should be brief and address issues rather than       past month our regional staff visited Kabul and our
                individuals.                                                 partners there. The purpose of this letter is to identify
                   Please send letters to be considered for publication to   some of the concerns that our partners raised.
                letters@canadianmennonite.org or by postal mail or fax,         From our experience and the recent counsel of our
                marked “Attn: Readers Write” (our address is on page 3).     Afghan partners, we encourage the following:
                Letters should include the author’s contact information         1. Canada should invest a higher proportion of its
                and mailing address. Letters are edited for length, style    assistance for Afghanistan to providing direct aid to
                and adherence to editorial guidelines.                       improve the lives of ordinary Afghans. Our partners
                                                                             estimate that up to 90 percent of people join the
                                                                             Taliban for economic reasons. Afghans are hungry,
                                                                             impoverished and without work, and the Taliban
                                                                             provides them with an income. Measures to improve
                                                                             food security, to meet basic needs and to foster eco-
                                                                             nomic development will lessen support for extremist
                                                                             militants.
                                                                                Canada recently passed a law stipulating that our
                                                                             country’s official development assistance be guided
                                                                             first and foremost by the goal of alleviating poverty.
                                    Jesus Matters                            We appreciate Canada’s involvement in polio vaccina-
                                    Good News for the                        tions and in rebuilding the Dahla dam and irrigation
                                                                             system, and would support a much greater investment
                                    21st Century                             in direct poverty alleviation.
                                 Each author in this collection                 2. Canada should discontinue the practice of
                                 teams with one or more                      engaging military personnel in development and re-
                                 young adults to consider the                construction work through Provincial Reconstruction
                                 various ways we encounter                   Teams.
                                 and experience Jesus. Topics                   We acknowledge the Canadian government’s desire
                                 include Jesus and creation,                 to have an integrated approach to its engagement with
                                 Jesus and the cross, Jesus and              Afghanistan. Nevertheless, our partners and, 
				
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Description: Please send letters to be considered for publication to letters@canadianmennonite.org or by postal mail or fax, marked "Attn: Readers Write" (our address is on page 3). Letters should include the author's contact information and mailing address. Letters are edited for length, style and adherence to editorial guidelines.1. Canada should invest a higher proportion of its assistance for Afghanistan to providing direct aid to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans. Our partners estimate that up to 90 percent of people join the Taliban for economic reasons. Afghans are hungry, impoverished and without work, and the Taliban provides them with an income. Measures to improve food security, to meet basic needs and to foster economic development will lessen support for extremist militants.RE: "NEIGHBOURHOOD [Pentecost]," May 25, page 2.1 commend you in an attempt to tackle the subject of Pentecost. It appears that fear strikes the hearts of Mennonites when the words "speaking in tongues" is mentioned and we want to run when the suggestion that God may want them to do something they are uncomfortable with.
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