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15 October 2013

Making tax justice part of worship

Making tax justice part of worship

Reverend Jacob Wandusim

by Amanda Pilz

Christian Aid launches new church resources to address tax justice

Tax and financial secrecy might not immediately spring to mind when people think about church worship but Christian Aid, which works in some of the world's poorest communities, is launching a series of resources to help Christians engage with the subject of tax justice.

Tax dodging is a moral issue which is currently high on the news and political agenda.  Multinational companies' tax dodging hits poor countries especially hard and costs them $160 billion a year – more than they receive in aid.

To help churches engage with the issue Christian Aid has produced a series of prayers, sermon notes and small group studies which are available from the Christian Aid website.

Claire Aston, church resources manager at Christian Aid, says: "God calls us to turn the present unjust world upside down so that His kingdom may come.

"These new tax justice worship resources are designed to help congregations get a deeper understanding of financial secrecy, which harms the world's poor and stops developing countries from paying for essential services like schools and hospitals.

"We want churches to recognise that the hard questions Jesus asked about taxation are just as relevant to us today. Using Matthew 22 as a starting point for discussion, small groups can reflect on their own experience of taxation and consider our competing choices and values.

'It is our hope that churches across Britain and Ireland will pray together for greater transparency and accountability in secretive companies, as well as taking our latest campaign action."

Featured in the resources is Rev Jacob Wandusim, district minister for Tamale, who works for Christian Aid partner the Northern Presbyterian Church in Ghana.

He says: "Government and societies institute taxes so that the contributions that they get from taxes will be used for the larger interests of the community. As members of the Church, we are also citizens of the country we belong to and so we should be contributing towards the general welfare of everybody. We are prepared to share whatever we have with others because Christ has shared his life with us."

Access the free Christian Aid resources.