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Economy in Service of Life

by Pax Christi Wednesday, Sep. 22, 2010 at 1:04 AM

The 2004 Accra confession of the Reformed World Alliance emphasizes justice in the economy and the earth. "The ideology of neoliberalism penetrating all areas of our life is incompatible with our Christian faith.. and does not serve life."



By Pax Christi

[This declaration by Pax Christi, the international catholic peace movement in Worms, Germany is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.pax-christi-worms.de/bekproz.html. The 2004 confession of the Reformed World Alliance in Accra, Ghana emphasizes that the earth is the Lord’s and that justice not indifference is a Christian command.]

The ideology of neoliberalism present everywhere and penetrating all areas of our life is a worldview incompatible with our Christian faith. An economic system that degrades everything without exception and depends on the free play of the forces of the market does not serve life.

On a massive scale, this ideology brings death to people of the southern hemisphere since it takes their resources and only leaves behind hunger and misery.

Making everything into a commodity and appropriating the uniqueness of every individual person by means of patents to maximize profits is contemptuous of humanity.

This is totalitarian because all areas of human life are seized which should be unconditionally subordinated to solidarity- and educational systems.

The ecumenical confessional process “Economy in Service of Life” sees the prevailing neoliberal globalization as a fundamental challenge to church existence similar to the challenge presented by National Socialism in Germany and the apartheid system in South Africa (Prof. Duchrow , Berlin 2003).

We say No to the system of globalized neoliberal capitalism as destructive idolatry. We say No to the commodification of all life.

We confess to Christ who came into the world to give a life in abundance to all people and to a God who stands on the side of the oppressed and poor.

We accept the obligation as formulated by delegates of Reformed churches from Africa, Asia and Latin America in the ecumenical confessional process. In their “Faith Declaration on the Global Crisis of Life” following the Ten Commandments, the delegates accepted the following obligations:

“God of life,

You are our God who frees us from all oppression, exclusion and exploitation.

1. We will not make mammon our God and accumulate power and riches.

2. We will not make any idol by worshipping the efficiency of our works.

3. We will not misuse the name of God our Lord by representing the execution of the market in accumulating wealth and imperial wars as Christian policy.

4. We will honor the Sabbath and neither exploit human labor nor destroy nature.

5. We will champion solidarity between the generations – both by supporting the life of seniors in dignity and by preserving future generations from ecological destruction and indebtedness.

6. We will not kill, not even by excluding those from markets who neither have private property nor can sell their labor power on the market. We will not accept women and children made into commodities and sexually exploited.

7. We will not tolerate the diverse robbery of actors on the markets.

8. We will promote the economic, social and cultural rights of all people and not misuse the legal system for our own material advantage.

9. We will not fall to the greed for unlimited accumulation of riches and rob our neighbors of their means of production and income so that everyone can live a life in dignity on God’s rich and marvelous earth.


“Affirming the 2004 Accra Confession,” “Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth,” The United Church of Christ and the Reformed World Alliance 2009


“Global Dialog on the Accra Confession”


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