Monday, 7 March 2011

Adamah - the land we come from

The first biblical reflection on Seven Weeks for Water this year comes from Ani Ghazaryan who has been working with the WCC as an intern for the past year. Ani is working on a doctorate in biblical studies at the University of Lausanne but has been working with the climate and economic justice teams at the WCC. She reflects on the link between land and water, water and justice, land and justice.
At the same time the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance has also made a great campaigning contribution to Seven Weeks this year and is encouraging people to sign a letter to the food and Agricutlure Organization (FAO) in support of the food and water rights of vulnerable populations. So do sign the letter and also look at the resources EAA are putting together as part of their fast for life campaign.
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Meanwhile here's a taste of Ani's reflection:

Despite the deep relationship of humankind to the earth, today, humankind overexploits the land and water for our own interests, forgetting that we were called to take care of the Earth, God’s creation. Our greediness is such that we covet ever more without thinking about the Earth and the needs of vulnerable people.

The Tenth commandment of God commends us to not covet our neighbour’s property (Exodus 20:17). However, today many companies and governments invest in land resources for large-scale industrial agriculture in very poor countries – in a way which often affects the livelihoods of local communities, such as peasant farmers, pastoralists, or Indigenous Peoples. For these people the link to the land, including its rivers, lakes, and springs, is strong and vital.

How can we ignore the fact that millions of people are already suffering and dying because of the greediness of others? How should we address issues which are linked to the unjust sharing of land and water, such as land and water “grabbing”? How is it possible to come from the land, to be adamah and then to become a land grabber? To deprive people of the land from which they come - and to which we all will return eventually?