Advocating for justice in 2021
What happens in the White House impacts everyone's house. From Ferguson, Missouri to Lusaka, Zambia, the policies made at the highest levels of our nation's government are felt all across the world. In 2021, we will be paying attention to how our leaders seek racial justice, take action on climate, and protect refugees and displaced people.
Following President Biden’s inauguration, we’re taking a closer look at the policy agenda put forth by his administration. No matter who is in office those of us who follow Jesus will always seek to hold the most powerful accountable for their decisions, and how their decisions impact the most vulnerable in our nation and in our world.
Although our hope is not in our political leaders, there are some changes that cannot be secured simply through individual generosity and care. One of the ways we challenge deeply systemic injustices is by engaging the systems put in place at the highest levels of government. Unjust systems tend to have the greatest effect on the most vulnerable people in our world. This is why Tearfund has advocated to world leaders, challenged unjust policies, and equipped Christians to mobilize for justice.
Climate change is not simply a creation care issue — it is a human rights issue.
Our flourishing and the flourishing of all creation is intertwined. The injustice of climate change is that those who have done the least to cause it are suffering the most from its impacts right now. Though these facts have been known for many years, the political will to take serious action on climate has evaded our nation. This has devastating impacts for people in our nation and all over the world.
85% of the world’s poor are rural, and many rely on their land for food and income. We will advocate to our leaders to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement and focus on
- investing in renewable energy and technology,
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and
- funding climate adaptation for the poorest in our world.
Climate adaptation is a significant part of our work, and we will encourage the US government to keep their promise to fund climate adaptation for the poorest nations. We work with thousands of farmers across the world who are struggling to grow food in a changing climate because of worsening droughts, floods, and soil degradation. These are the very people we will be advocating for our leaders to listen to and support.
Protecting refugees and displaced people
In 2020, the number of refugees admitted into our nation reached a record low of 11,814.
This was 86% less than the number admitted by the United States in 2016, 84,955. This was done in the name of national security, but did not make us safer. In fact this act put vulnerable people, persecuted Christians, and other victims of human rights violations at serious risk. We will be advocating for President Biden to increase the refugee cap, and to support efforts globally for peacekeeping in conflict zones.
There are more displaced people right now than ever before (nearly 80 million people). Our President not only has the power to increase the number of refugees welcomed in our nation, but he can also influence the conflicts that contributed to the refugee crisis in the first place. We will be advocating that our leaders seek peace.
We join a chorus of voices across the Christian community advocating to challenge attitudes, behaviors, and policies that perpetuate racial injustice. This requires us to look inwardly as individuals while challenging our leaders to take action to protect and promote flourishing within communities of color.
Our President can take the first step by denouncing white supremacy and white nationalist beliefs that have become normalized in our political landscape. Our leaders can begin to pursue racial justice by prioritizing policies that reduce educational inequities, increase economic opportunities in communities of color, and by pursuing criminal justice reform to combat the racial disparities in police violence and incarceration rates.
If you want to learn more about why it is not only good, but essential for Christians to advocate to our leaders check out this Bible study on justice and advocacy.
We invite you to join us in prayer for our newly appointed leaders:
•Pray that President Biden and Vice President Harris will lead in ways that benefit the whole nation - especially the most marginalized.
•Ask God to give our leaders new resolve and fresh vision to help heal our nation’s racial wounds.
•Pray that our nation will begin again to partner with other countries to steward natural resources and protect the earth.
•Pray our new leaders would have a heart of hospitality towards refugees and immigrants, and ask God to give them wisdom to create just immigration policies.
•Pray our leaders will work together to create foreign policy that fosters respect for the image of God in all the world’s people.
•Pray that the Spirit of God would move Americans toward repentance for the ways in which we have ignored justice and chosen polarization and pride over humility and love.