Global Issues

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Global Issues

How big is the world? It depends on your perspective. Given that 7 billion people live on 57.5 million square miles of land and water, you could say it’s quite big. But through expanding trade networks and communications systems, it has never been so intimately connected. We live in a truly international community and this leaves us with many questions about how we should respond to issues which we cannot or should not ignore.

For example, war. It has always been a contentious issue: what is the best way of responding to international conflict? Is military intervention, which often causes huge civilian casualties and suffering, ever justified? Christians throughout the ages – and even now – have been divided on this ethical dilemma, and each side finds support in the Bible for its position.

Or migration issues. People have travelled as long as the human race has had feet to walk and hands to build boats. But although slavery was officially outlawed in this country through the efforts of Christians 200 years ago, human trafficking – illegally moving people across borders for the purpose of slavery – is still in operation, and in this country. How should we respond to asylum seekers, hoping to escape war or persecution overseas?

And what about global poverty? What should be our response to the dire need which we see every time we turn on the TV or pick up a paper? With so many of our goods originating in developing economies, how do our spending habits impact on the poverty or wealth of men, women and children thousands of miles away? Do we have a responsibility to those who make our clothes and grow our food?

This section explores some of these big questions and in particular invites a Christian perspective on the ethics of each. You’ll also find examples of how Christians are seeking to address some of these issues, with links to where to find out more.

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Global Issues Articles

Believer’s Blog: Living in an Unjust World

'What do justice and mercy really look like?'

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Believer’s Blog: Living in an Unjust World

'What do justice and mercy really look like?'

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In our guest blog, our friends from the International Justice Mission offer their thoughts on the world’s biggest problems – and how they are trying to solve them. “According to the United Nations, 4 billion people worldwide live outside the protection of the law. That means their […]

Faith and the Forces

Can I be in the armed forces and still be a Christian?

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Faith and the Forces

Can I be in the armed forces and still be a Christian?

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Can you be a Christian and be in the armed forces? This is a big question and one that Christians continue to debate, and disagree on even today. In this film one former airman discusses what he felt personally at the time when he was […]

Faith and Politics – one politician’s view of war

What defines a just war? What do you do if your beliefs on in conflict with party politics?

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Faith and Politics – one politician’s view of war

What defines a just war? What do you do if your beliefs on in conflict with party politics?

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Andy Reed was the Labour and Co-operative MP for the Loughborough constituency when the Iraq War broke out. As a Christian Andy had to struggle with the question of whether this war was just or not and whether he should support his party’s line. In […]

Maria Aparecida Mendes da Silva, 44 collects what little water remains from a hole in a dried out river bed.

Tearfund – a Christian response to poverty and need.

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The first of these films looks at the work and vision of Tearfund and answers such questions as: What does Tearfund hope to achieve through its work? How does Tearfund work in local communities? What is Tearfund’s view of poverty? The second film explores a […]

Poverty – facing the issues

How can we tackle the injustice of poverty at the very root?

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Poverty – facing the issues

How can we tackle the injustice of poverty at the very root?

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What is poverty? Is there a Christian response to poverty? Why is poverty such an important issue to tackle? What can we do to help combat the injustice of poverty? Wess Stafford is the former President and CEO of Christian charity Compassion International. He is the author […]

Alternatives to war

Is there an alternative to war?

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ISSUES-PEACE&CON-PACIFIST

Alternatives to war

Is there an alternative to war?

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A pacifist is somebody who is pro-peace and firmly anti-war. Christian pacifists believe that all war is wrong, and refuse to participate in any action that promotes conflict. Many Christians have become pacifists in the last century. This is not only because of their interpretation […]

A Just War

Can war ever be justified?

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Veterans March Past the Cenotaph London During Remembrance Sunday Service

A Just War

Can war ever be justified?

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For the first three centuries of the Christian faith, Christianity was a minority belief and had little influence in government. Then there was an important change. The Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of his empire, and church and politics began to mix […]

Jesus and Conflict

Is Jesus for or against conflict?

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Jesus and Conflict

Is Jesus for or against conflict?

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For many Christians, the teaching and example of Jesus provides the most important basis for their ethical decisions. So what was his perspective on conflict? Jesus lived through tough political times. In the first century, Israel was occupied by the Romans – a strong and […]

War

Does the Bible support war?

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War

Does the Bible support war?

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There’s a lot in the Bible on the topic of both peace and conflict. They inform both sides of the debate. Old Testament verses The Ten Commandments were given to the nation of Israel by God. They offer God’s word on living with others. Life […]

Conflict

What is a Christians response to conflict?

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Conflict

What is a Christians response to conflict?

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The world around us engages in acts of conflict and aggression all the time. In these situations, we can find ourselves asking: is it ever OK to fight? If so, what makes fighting apparently the best option? Or are there alternatives to warfare when conflict […]