Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Beloved Continent ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Beloved Continent ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

PIcture this: Africa is in the news because of its exemplary record of incorruptible officials and unselfish, visionary leaders. And because of deep-rooted peace established within and across its borders. It is capturing the attention of the world because of its universal prosperity - with every family fully fed and its natural resources and locally produced goods giving it self-sufficiency and enough excess to export. Africa is healthy, a model of ethnic and racial harmony, holding aloft a standard for the world.

No, that's not what you've been hearing on the nightly news. The pictures of day-to-day Africa show a continent of chronic problems - war, famine, disease, poor government. As South African author Alan Paton might have lamented, "Cry, the beloved continent!"

But Africa has a lot more to it than the tragedies that make headlines. The majority of its countries are at peace. People throughout the continent are living productive lives. Individuals like former South African President Nelson Mandela are role models for the world. The sharing and caring in many African communities is cause for respect.

This is all evidence that Africa is beloved and blessed by God, the Father and Mother of all nations, who supplies good universally. God's own view of this loved nation is of spiritual innocence and purity enshrined in - and as - the thoughts and hearts of all who make up the people of Africa. Whatever race, whatever tribe, whatever ethnicity, whatever income level, the people of Africa are truly the children of God, and the birthright of God's children is peace, prosperity, justice, freedom, mercy, and goodness.

Through prayer we can unite with God's view of the African people, wherever we live. We can take careful note of the news - ongoing instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo; harassment of farm owners and workers in Zimbabwe; unrest between Ethiopia and Eritrea when famine conditions cry out for attention; Sierra Leone's deadly civil war threatening to flare up again; Angola's internal conflict; Mozambique's disastrous floods; Nigeria's recent riots; the AIDS epidemic.

THEN - having taken note of all this, we can PRAY. …

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