The death of George Floyd in the United States has intensified conversations about injustices around the world. Many Christians have re-examined their own societies with new sensitivity to long-standing inequality and bias. The tragic truth is that different forms of injustice are pervasive in every country. Though identifying these issues can be uncomfortable, Christians are called to courageously engage. As children of God, we reap the benefits of God’s great story of redemption – a story that features the renewal and restoration of society. Being ambassadors for Christ, we bear the responsibility to be agents of restoration in our own societies just as Jesus has restored us to himself.
At IFES, we believe we must apply the gospel to all aspects of life. Over the years, this idea has led IFES students to be agents of change. Students and graduates have confronted deeply rooted problems and challenged others to do the same. They have attended IFES trainings that pushed them outside of their social bubble to interact with people who are different. Events like World Student Day have inspired students to examine their society for injustices and then do something about it. IFES students believe that advocating for social justice is close to God’s heart. To quote Acting General Secretary, Jamil Chabouh,
“God urges us to help one another, to learn from one another and to love one another. As a fellowship, we must listen to those who are unjustly treated, to bring comfort, to mourn with those who mourn, and to stand with those who suffer.”
In that spirit, we are launching a series of articles highlighting how students around the world are responding to social justice needs in their contexts. We will cover topics such as violence and corruption in Latin America, women’s rights in Asia, and racial reconciliation in the UK and the US. By sharing these stories, we hope that our IFES brothers and sisters can mourn with each other over persistent injustices, rejoice with each other where we see Christ’s power and mercy bringing transformation, and gain fresh encouragement to listen and respond to the injustice in their own societies.
While we don’t claim to have all the answers, we understand our call to live lives set apart for the gospel. We believe in Christ’s power to transform entire societies, and so with sorrow and hope, we press on together as a united fellowship in him. We look forward to sharing these stories with you and hope they will inspire you to work towards God’s restoration in your own contexts.