Resolution on Social Protection in Times of Inequality

1) As people of faith, the Assembly is deeply concerned by the growing inequalities and the impacts on the lives of people everywhere. The Assembly calls upon the Lutheran Churches and their related organizations to explore their role and resources of diakonia in promoting just societies, where wealth is shared fairly for the good of all and social protection is guaranteed as the right of all – so that no one shall be left behind. 

2) Churches and faith-based organizations (FBOs) have historically been, and continue to remain, at the forefront of providing social services and support to those living in the socio-economic margins. The Assembly therefore believes that churches and FBOs have a critical role to play in actively working for just societies and securing social protection for all. The Assembly affirms publicly funded social protection as a moral imperative and as a human right for all, and particularly for those that have been rendered invisible by current economic and development realities. 

3) This is important because the Assembly believes that social protection is an essential requirement for a just society, regardless of nationality, legal citizenship or the level of economic development in a country. The Assembly also believes that taxation is a fundamental instrument for redistributing wealth and for financing the common good so that all can have life in dignity. 

4) The Assembly calls on Lutheran churches and faith based organizations everywhere to stand up and demand for fair redistribution of wealth and social protection, as a matter of justice and human rights for all in the following ways: 

  • Continue to pioneer social services and support for those who are left behind, and challenge governments to learn from these innovations to improve public social protection.
  • Raise awareness and build local community support to influence policies and actions in favor of social protection, just tax systems and equality at all levels.
  • Use the voice of the church to educate, inspire and transform peoples’ attitudes and behaviors about tax and social protection in all sectors of society. 
  • Commit to working with others in the public space and engage in relevant policy frameworks and debates to call upon: 
  • National governments to guarantee social protection for all and to mobilize the necessary resources through fair taxation. 
  • The private sector to recognize that major corporations and the super-rich minority are benefitting at the cost of the majority and that they need to honor tax and labor legislation and be transparent and accountable in their business practices. 
  • The leaders in all sectors of society to support policy initiatives for a reformed financial architecture which promotes a more just and equitable redistribution of resources in line with the Common Good and to act upon the international responsibility to leave no one behind (see also the São Paulo statement “International Financial Transformation for the Economy of Life”).