The Rev. Ishmael Noko, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, has called on member churches in Latin America and the Caribbean to join the Jubilee 2000 Campaign seeking the forgiveness of Third World nations' foreign debts.
The campaign was sparked in part by comments Pope John Paul II made in an apostolic letter setting forth his hopes for the Roman Catholic Church's celebration of the millennium and has been embraced by church leaders around the world.
Supporters of the campaign are calling on global lending agencies, such as those associated with the World Bank, to cancel the staggering international debts of the poorest nations so their resources can be directed to social services and poverty elimination efforts.
"We must try to create sustainable communities and strengthen regional communion, integral ministries, theological education and ecumenical commitment," Noko told the ninth Latin American Lutheran Congress meeting Sept. 28-Oct. 2 in Joinville, Brazil.
In a separate but related development, the National Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada also announced its support of the Jubilee 2000 campaign.