Christians for Economic Justice

Previously called Christianity Uncut

Christians urged to fast from tax-dodging companies during Lent

Christianity Uncut have today issued the following news release:

Christians urged to fast from tax-dodging companies during Lent

Christians are being encouraged to do no business with tax-dodging corporations such as Amazon and Starbuck’s for the duration of Lent as a public witness against the sins of corporate tax avoidance.

As Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday (13 February), the Rev Chris Howson, a Church of England priest in Sunderland, will anoint his local branch of Starbuck’s with ashes, traditionally used as a call to repentance.

Christianity Uncut, a network of anti-capitalist Christians, suggest that a crackdown on tax avoidance is a better way of reducing the national deficit than cutting public services and the welfare state.

They recognise that individual Christians will reach different conclusions about which companies to target and whether to continue with the boycott beyond Lent. But they suggested that lots of Christians working acting on the issue in their personal spending could be both an important witness and a form of economic pressure.

Rev Chris Howson, a Church of England priest in Sunderland, said:

Tax justice is a pressing issue. Amazon, with its aggressive tax avoidance policy, can easily out-compete British-based high street firms. For lent, there will be no more cheap books for me from this tax dodger! As for Starbuck’s, not only has it evaded millions of pounds of corporation tax over the last few years, it has tried to publicly bribe the government, instead of simply paying its tax!”

Other ideas for the ‘tax justice fast’ include moving money from banks that have avoided tax, such as Barclay’s, and committing to shopping locally.

Rev Chris Howson added:

“Join me, and let’s support those who pay their taxes so that our kids get a decent education, bins are collected, and people can be looked after by the NHS. Make up your own version of the Tax Justice Fast for Lent!”


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3 thoughts on “Christians urged to fast from tax-dodging companies during Lent

  1. it is disgraceful that any government should think of punishing the poor before closing tax loopholes, & I use the word punishing deliberatly because the ways in which they have made changes in the welfare system have felt like they wanted to punish us. Is there somewhere we can see all or more of the companies that dodge tax? Also, on amazon there are many sellers who use amazon’s website as a sales tool and they are eager that we don’t boycott them, though I imagine Amazon do benefit from them somehow, & we should consider that when choosing who to buy from.


  2. Thanks Chris , This sounds a great idea are there any other companies for your hit list?



  3. What about closing the tax loopholes instead? Then we can continue to support local franchises with the local jobs they involve. However, I try to support small local cafes and shops anyways if I can. I wouldn’t think of this as a Lentern fast really but it’s good to raise the profile of the issue.


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