Christians and Human rights

David Wilson shares his thoughts on why Christians are committed to human rights

Christians are committed to human rights for these reasons: 

1. The Bible tells us “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10). Although the concentration is on “the family of believers” that is set within the clear instruction to help all those we can. This is just as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount “when you give to charity…” not if you give; he assumed we would instinctively be helping those in need. 

2. As Christians we believe in the common-ness of humanity. The apostle Paul preached that from one man God had made “every nation of men” (Acts 17:26) and regarded this as the great leveller of human beings (Acts 17:28).

3. It was because of those same principles that the first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a Christian believer Henri Dunant, who had witnessed the horrors of war in Italy. The reaction of his Christian principles were expressed in the documents which founded the Geneva Convention.

4. The wisdom literature of the Old Testament echoes the same sentiment: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

5. It was Pastor Martin Niemöller, imprisoned in Dachau during World War II, who said:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Published originally on Agape Ireland blog.

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