Christians for Economic Justice

Previously called Christianity Uncut

A year of resistance

As we near the end of the year, we want to say a big thank you to everyone who’s been involved in Christianity Uncut over the last twelve months.

In 2012, we:

  • Called for a real jubilee of economic justice – rather than a celebration of human monarchy – in June. This made more people aware that “jubilee” in the original, biblical sense is about the cancellation of debts, freeing of slave and redistribution of land.
  • Joined Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and UK Uncut in protesting outside the offices of Atos, the company that has thrown thousands of disabled people off benefits through biased assessments. We pointed out that Atos “bring bad news to the poor”, whereas Jesus’ Gospel is about “good news to the poor”. 
  • Christianity Uncut has appeared on the BBC World Service, BBC News website and in publciations including the Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Church Times, Ekklesia, The Friend, Reform and Third Way.

Much of this action has been carried out in solidarity with people of many religions and none who are resisting economic injustice with active nonviolence. UK Uncut, Occupy and DPAC, along with several faith-based groups and many others, have spoken out and campaigned against the government’s policy of punishing the poor for the sins of the rich.

The impact of austerity is clear. Housing Justice, an ecumenical Christian charity, estimate that rough sleeping in London has increased by a staggering 40% in a year. Food banks have now appeared in many British cities. DPAC report that every week, 73 people die shortly after being thrown off benefits. Many are suicides. 

At the same time, the richest people have had their taxes cut. Corporations avoid tax while ministers offer only lukewarm criticisms and no action. The arms trade continues to be subsidised and plans for the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system are going ahead. The government recently spent £1.2bn on a submarine.

In this situation, a number of church leaders have rightly spoken out. Many other Christians have taken a stand and become involved in campaigning. Some denominations have made statements and commitments on particular issues. This is great. But if we are to follow Jesus’ example of siding with the poor, we need to go a lot further. We need to let the government know that British Christians are part of a mass movement resisting austerity.

Recently, Starbucks agreed to pay slightly more tax after mass protests. It is nowhere near enough. We need to keep protesting against Starbucks. But the very fact that they felt the need to do this shows that groups such as UK Uncut have made an impact on the terms of political debate. Tax dodging has become a major political issue. Activism can make a difference. But we have so much further to go.

If you would like to join in Christianity Uncut actions, or help out with publicity and administration, we would love to hear from you. You can email us at christiansagainstcuts@gmail.com. May God help us to do so much more together than we can manage alone.

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