Religious literacy in world affairs
“Lapido” means ‘to speak up for’ or ‘advocate’ in the Acholi dialect of Northern Uganda. The charity was birthed out of a campaign to ‘Break the Silence’ and end the twenty-year war there. The campaign, prompted by the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative, taught vital lessons about the spiritual dimension in international affairs. Public affairs and media techniques, harnessed to the international church’s unique networks, achieved what no other agency had. By increasing publicity and generating a huge amount of spiritual and social capacity over three years, the campaign handed politicians a bigger electoral mandate to address a difficult issue.
The charity seeks to amplify the voice of the forgotten and persecuted church around the world. It aims also to improve what we’re calling ‘religious literacy’ in public affairs. Secularization and distorted history have squeezed a sense of the transcendent from public life, and made religious discourse taboo. This can and must be changed. The world’s poor are also religious. The rich can do little to change the world for the poor, or avert religiously sanctioned war, unless they learn the language of faith.