Guidelines for Faith-Consistent Investments: WEA Enters New Arena of“Faith in Finance”

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Zug, Switzerland. Financial investors and religious leaders who represent over 500 faith investment groups, eight religions, and approximately 3 trillion dollars in assets, have met together with representatives of the United Nations for a unique international meeting on “Faith in Finance,“ in Zug, Switzerland, Oct 30th – Nov 1st, 2017.
The WEA delegation meets Cardinal Peter Turkson from the Vatican. L-R: Dr. Chris Elisara, Reuben Coulter, Cardinal Peter Turkson, Timo Plutschinski (Photo: private)
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), represented by Dr. Chris Elisara from the Creation Care Task Force, and Reuben Coulter and Timo Plutschinski from the Business Coalition, attended the “Faith in Finance” conference convened by ARC (the Alliance of Religions and Conservation) as the first step in developing evangelical guidelines for faith-consistent investing, and a practical concern focused on financing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Using information learned at the conference the WEA delegation is eager to help evangelical investors advance beyond traditional negative investment screening, to positive impact investing in people, communities, and creation care.

At Zug, for the first time ever, eight major faiths – Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and others – launched faith specific investment guidelines to help create a better world free of poverty and discrimination, with affordable clean energy, clean water, and other ecological and social goods commensurate with human flourishing and stewardship of God’s creation. 

“Responding to the cry of the poor and the cry of creation is a biblical calling evangelical business leaders can do something about through their investments,” said Plutschinski.  Which is why, Elisara stated, “we attended the faith and finance initiative to develop pro-active investment guidelines that are consistent with our faith that would be an encouragement and useful tool for evangelical business people.” Coulter, the CEO of the Transformational Business Network (TBN), and member of the WEA Council for Business & Ministry Finance, believes “faith consistent investments that are properly targeted, and supports what we’re for as opposed to merely avoiding what we’re against, can make a big impact in people’s lives. As an investor that’s why I am involved in this joint WEA Creation Care Task Force/ Business Coalition initiative.” 

The next step in the process is an event scheduled for July 21st, 2018 in Zurich, Switzerland to launch the WEA’s evangelical investment guidelines, define strategic investment targets, and develop tools that could measure the full range of impacts that evangelicals are concerned about, including spiritual transformation.

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