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The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norwich Christian Aid pirates call for tax justice 

Skullduggery was afoot at the Celebrate Norwich and Norfolk event outside the Forum in Norwich last weekend when regional Christian Aid co-ordinator Julian Bryant dressed up as a pirate to draw attention to the issue of tax injustice. Here Julian explains more.

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We believe that God calls His people to speak prophetically about injustice which hurts the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.
 
Just as the prophets in the Bible used strong visual messages to communicate God’s words and challenge kings and rulers, we use piracy as the picture. Like pirates, some multi-national companies have accumulated riches from unpaid taxes and buried their hidden treasure chests on beautiful islands. We wanted to let people know about that in Norwich as many people are unaware of the extent of the problem.
 
Some £94 billion is hidden by companies, often using tax havens, where they hide their treasure, based in the Caribbean, but in fact the City of London is a key player in this too.
 
We want the money out of these ‘buried’ treasure chests and back where it belongs, making a difference to those in need - paying  for health care, education and welfare in some of the poorest countries and communities in the world.
 
In Amos 8 we read that Amos, the prophet speaks God’s word to the rich about their exploitation and cheating of the poor: ‘Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?” -  skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.’
 
We welcome the UK Government’s moves forward  on measures to combat tax avoidance but there is still some way to go especially in the EU, internationally and also in the church.
 
If people take their Bible seriously, and also believe in prophecy, they cannot avoid the fact that God requires them to speak out against injustice and to seek change   – especially where the poor and vulnerable are exploited. We see this time and time again in the Bible.
 
Come on Church, hear the Kingdom call. Weigh anchor, hoist the mizzen, let’s get out into those seas and fight for justice…!
 
If you would like to raise your voice with many other Christians to call for tax justice, please contact Julian Bryant jbryant@christian-aid.org or visit www.christianaid.org.uk/ActNow/campaigns/index.aspx
 
Pictured above is Julian Bryant outside the Forum in Norwich at the Celebrate Norfolk event, protesting about tax injustice.
 


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