‘Slave markets’ and Africa’s development
Religion & Liberty Online

‘Slave markets’ and Africa’s development

This exchange came yesterday via NPR’s Morning Edition, as Renພ Montagne interviewed Cardinal Roger Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles…

RENಞ MONTAGNE: Interesting, because of course, the notion of the vibrancy of the Church in the Southern Hemisphere. Just as an example, you were in Africa, what did you hear that mattered to them that might even surprise Americans?

CARDINAL MAHONY: Well, that their concerns are the impact of globalization, for example. International corporations headquartered in the United States purchase enormous billions of dollars worth of goods from basically slave markets. Their concern is how are we ever going to improve the standard of living if these multinational corporations are able to pay people a dollar a day or a dollar a week in order to produce goods that sell for huge amounts in the United States and other places. So they see the whole development of their countries based on a greater equality among nations.

No doubt Cardinal Mahony speaks for some Africans. But there’s also no doubt that there are many others who see increased global trade and economic liberalization as critical to the continent’s development.

See what some Africans have to say for themselves:

James Shikwati – “The WTO and the Voice of the Poor”


Jordan J. Ballor

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is director of research at the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy, an initiative of the First Liberty Institute. He has previously held research positions at the Acton Institute and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and has authored multiple books, including a forthcoming introduction to the public theology of Abraham Kuyper. Working with Lexham Press, he served as a general editor for the 12 volume Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology series, and his research can be found in publications including Journal of Markets & Morality, Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, Reformation & Renaissance Review, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Faith & Economics, and Calvin Theological Journal. He is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary and the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity & Politics at Calvin University.