We believe that God’s justice is for everybody and all things. When policies and systems fail in their potential to reflect God’s justice and mercy, we believe these need transformation. Christians, and collectively the Church, are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be that agent of change, embracing a biblical response to poverty and justice. Together, we are God’s movement towards a just and compassionate world.
When asked why Tearfund is involved with political advocacy, I often quote Proverbs 31:8-9, “Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable. Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor.” – Matthew Maury, Tearfund Australia National Director
If we look at the most significant historical and contemporary political and social transformations - for example, the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, the African American civil rights movement, and the cancellation of debt for the world’s poorest countries – and consider how they came about, we start to understand the key to unlocking entrenched and unjust systems. The answer in each of these cases was a movement of ordinary people, led from within the church, thinking differently, defying and shifting cultural norms as well as calling on the powerful for change.
That is why, for more than two decades, Tearfund has been at the forefront of calling for change to the systems and policies that entrap people in cycles of extreme poverty and inequality. Our passion for good development has always been coupled with a desire to inspire Christians in Australia to embrace a biblically shaped response to poverty and injustice.
If we are to bring about a just and compassionate world, we need to be a people who move beyond charity and works of aid to those that address the root and systemic causes of injustice and inequality. To understand the spiritual, cultural, economic and social conditions that drive marginalisation and to work to transform these in order that all may experience fullness of life.
We stand on the cusp of something truly significant. Ours is the first generation in history that is able to say: “Within our lifetime, we could eliminate extreme poverty from the face of the earth."