Towards Personal Responsibility in a World of Injustice

The Whirlwind of Lovers William Blake

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of freedom and liberation. The liberation is primarily a release from all kinds of personal, economic, political, social or cultural bondage. These forms of slavery are obstacles that prevent men and women from living with dignity and from making decisions as full human beings. When men and women choose freely their own ways, unfortunately their decisions are often influenced by the unfair circumstances and structures that prevail.


       When we encounter situations in which poverty and social injustice are part of the people’s daily life, when social inequalities are due to unfair economic arrangements, when people are displaced by conflict, when men, women and children are exploited at work or suffer the disastrous consequences of the forces of nature caused by global warming, it can be difficult to know whether responsibility lies with unjust structures or at a personal level.


       The liberation of the human being is therefore not only a personal responsibility.  Liberation from the injustices of this world is a relational dynamic among individuals, people and human structures. In the task of transforming this world, our commitment to Christ requires a personal commitment to social and economic justice that works for human liberation. Our Christian commitment to Economic Justice must focus on changing those structures that perpetuate injustices among the poorest and do not help the integral development of the human being. Therefore, it is part of our task to analyze the European Union's policies towards Africa and denounce their consequences that perpetuate economic injustice. Part of our role as Christians is to denounce the many abuses that the neoliberal economy, forgetful of the purpose of the creation, inflicts on the poor.


       Our commitment to Africa begins with listening to the Word of God throughout Scripture and to God's concern for the poor and the oppressed. This inspiration of our faith becomes a commitment to personal, economic and political justice. The salvation offered by Jesus in the Gospel is, first of all, a community salvation; men and women living in community who try to incarnate the Trinitarian relationship. Salvation is God's will for humankind to live the fullness of creation. But for this salvation to become a feasible reality a change of society is required, solidarity among peoples, political commitment of public institutions and the transformation of the neoliberal economy into a liberating one.


       Our commitment to the poor is a realistic look at suffering people and an opportunity to work with them to improve the living conditions of the oppressed who lack the basics for life, as well as a way to restore strength to those who have lost their dignity under work exploitation, wars, violence, abuse or discrimination. Moreover, the democratic aspirations of the people and the desire for economic and social justice are necessary so that people may own their destiny and be true protagonists of the kingdom of God.


José Luis Gutiérrez Aranda

AEFJN Policy Officer

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