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The church and challenging injustice

A new resource designed to empower and inspire Christian leaders and their churches to engage in campaigning for the global poor has been launched by Christian Aid.

Prophetic Church‘The Prophetic Church’ outlines the theology of campaigning for justice, uses historical examples to illustrate the long Church tradition of speaking truth to power and highlights what Christians are doing today to challenge the structures which keep people poor.

One of the contributors is the Revd Simon Jones, Ministry Team Leader at Bromley Baptist Church, who tells the remarkable story of William Carey’s campaigning work in India.

Carey, father of the modern missionary movement, was an activist who ‘modelled a way of mission that engaged with pressing social and economic concerns of his day’, Simon told The Baptist Times.

‘He did this by creating communities of radical disciples committed to social transformation as well as spiritual enlightenment. For Carey the gospel was as much about how we treat the most vulnerable in society as it was about how we experience God’s salvation in Christ.’

Elsewhere in the 48-page-booklet theologian Dr Marijke Hoek considers how Moses and Esther provide us with examples of ‘speaking truth to power’ and considers Jesus’ ministry focussed on the poor and marginalised. Sarah Croft, from the Christian Aid campaigns team, highlights questions which should be asked if the church is to be truly prophetic.

The booklet’s editor, Christian Aid’s Senior Regional Coordinator, David Muir, said he hoped the resource will inspire many to join Christian Aid’s campaigns on tax justice and climate change.

‘The Church has a powerful voice with which to speak up for the poor and powerless.  Not only do we in the Church have a rich tradition of using that voice for good, we currently have a great opportunity to help bring about real change in a broken world.

‘What a powerful witness to the rest of the country and the world it would be to see the Church living the words of Proverbs 31: 8-9: ‘Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.’

The booklet is free to download and an accompanying summary includes suggestions for small groups on how to use the resource. Free hard copies can also be ordered at www.christianaid.org.uk/thepropheticchurch.

Baptist Times, 26/03/2014
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