The ancient Hebrew prophets understood this failure as an offence to God and called on the people of God to end the exploitation of the poor and vulnerable. In Jesus, God’s bias for the poor found its fullest expression. Jesus came to bring good news to the poor and freedom for the oppressed (Luke 4:16-19) and he spoke of God’s kingdom to come in which the human order of life would be reversed: the poor will be rich, the hungry fed, the sorrowful will be filled with joy and the powerful will be the least. Christians are called to reflect this coming reign of God, to work for justice and serve those most in need.
The Uniting Church believes that people are entitled to a decent life, secure from poverty. This includes access to appropriate food, clothing, housing, health care, meaningful work in a safe environment and with decent wages, quality education and the opportunity to participate in society as members of harmonious communities. It also includes opportunities for rest and recreation. When all these basic needs are fulfilled, people flourish. The Uniting Church advocates for just economic, social and employment policies which fulfil Australia’s international human rights obligations and serve, first and foremost the needs of those most vulnerable.