Prayer pack on TTIP and trade justice launched for churches and Christian groups

Wednesday, 9 March, 2016

A controversial free trade deal between the EU and the USA is the subject of a new prayer pack that is being distributed to churches and Christian groups across the UK.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which is currently being negotiated has become increasingly controversial, with critics arguing that the deal could lock-in the privatisation of the NHS, as well as other vital public services, and could dramatically erode a wide range of legislations in Europe protecting the environment, labour rights and consumer standards.

The pack incorporates prayers, writings and ideas by people from a range of Christian traditions  who share a conviction that trade injustice is a barrier to the fullness of life promised by the kingdom of God, and includes:

  • an action sheet giving a brief summary of the issues and suggestions for action.
  • a selection of prayers, poems and quotations.
  • three Bible studies on passages relevant to trade justice (Ezekiel 28, Amos 8 and Luke 19) with brief reflections and questions for discussions.
  • a liturgy that can be used and adapted to facilitate prayer and reflection on trade justice.
  • two briefings that examine TTIP and a similar trade deal between the EU and Canada in more detail.

Effie Jordan, a trade campaigner at Global Justice Now and practicing Christian said:

“Christians have long been at the forefront of campaigning for trade justice, and this toxic trade deal being cooked up between the EU and the USA is potentially the biggest trade injustice that has been seen in a decade. If, as Christians and concerned citizens, we care about the NHS and important laws protecting the environment, labour rights and consumer standards, we need to be joining up with the millions of people across Europe who are saying no to TTIP.”

Symon Hill, a Christian activist who helped to create the pack said:

“Throughout the process of creating this pack, I've been inspired by the prayers and campaigns of people working at the grassroots to challenge unjust trade. I hope the pack will help Christians to explore the Bible's teaching on the subject, to seek God's guidance together, to speak out and to take action."

The twelfth round of the TTIP negotiations recently took place in Brussels. Following a series of set backs and controversies, the negotiators have said that they are keen to speed up the process and reach an agreement by the end of the year.  Over three million people across the EU have signed a petition calling for the deal to be scrapped, and hundreds of demonstrations across Europe have taken place under the ‘No TIIP’ banner, including 250,000 people on the streets of Berlin last October.

TTIP has already been subject to criticism by a number of churches, with concerns having been  raised by the Church of Scotland, Baptist Union, Methodist Church and United Reformed Church.

The pack has been produced by Global Justice Now with the support of Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network, Christian Aid, Commitment for Life (United Reform Church), Green Christian, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Justice and Peace Network, One World Week and Trade Justice Movement.

Download the prayer pack

Read Global Justice Now’s briefing on TTIP.

If you would like to order copies of the prayer pack, contact:

Effie.jordan@globaljustice.org.uk

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