Christian students 'inspired by message of Jesus' to resist cuts

By staff writers
28 Mar 2011

The Student Christian Movement has welcomed the large turnout by Christian students at the 26 March 2011 protest against government cuts.

SCM, a national Christian student organisation, says it is seeing increasing evidence that young Christians find that the Gospel message about Jesus, and his standing alongside the poor and marginalised of his day, inspires them to resist injustice in the here and now.

Christian students united with other Christian groups, including Church Action on Poverty, in an ecumenical service at St Martin's-in-the-Fields, which drew around 400 people. They then joined the march to Hyde Park.

The students voiced their concerns about the hike in tuition fees and cuts to higher education, as well as the effect of the cuts across society, and held placards reading ‘Where is good news for the poor?’ and ‘Invest in education, not war’.

SCM backs peaceful protest and believes that nonviolent direct action can play a valid part in resisting injustice. It is opposed to the use of violence as a form of protest.

Hilary Topp, National Co-ordinator of SCM, commented: "Students are often portrayed as apathetic, while some say that Christians are not concerned with the realities of this world."

She continued: "This march has challenged both stereotypes. Two thousand years ago, Jesus protested against those who exploited the poor in the Jerusalem Temple. Now Christian students will not stand by when ministers are devastating education and public services while putting aside billions for renewing nuclear weapons."

Sam Gibson, a theology student at the University of Birmingham, was on the march. He explained: "Communities will have their lives destroyed by the cuts. Opening higher education to a free market system will ruin it and bar millions of people. As a Christian, it's my duty to stand up."

The Student Christian Movement (www.movement.org.uk) is an ecumenical student-led movement passionate about faith and justice. It brings students together to explore how to live out the Christian faith in today’s world. SCM is Britain's oldest national student organisation, founded in 1889.

[Ekk/3]

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