Set the oppressed free: The Church of Norway and human rights. 26/05/2015.

Published at The Church of Norway
19 February 2015

“Human rights” is not a concept found in the Bible. But if we read the Bible through the lens of human dignity and human rights, we will find many examples that can motivate us, as a Christian community, to be involved in human rights efforts.

The Bible is full of stories about how God ensures justice and denounces abuse, oppression and injustice against people. When Jesus preached in the synagogue in Nazareth, speaking about his calling, he chose a text from the prophet Isaiah. He spoke about the good news for the poor, freedom for the captive and that the oppressed shall be set free (Luke 4: 18-19).

Churches and Christians have not always had a strong human rights commitment. Many church leaders and theologians have been sceptical of anything connected to human rights. These issues and questions are discussed in “Set the oppressed free”. In this document, human rights are interpreted further in light of Christian theology.

The Church of Norway Human Rights Committee has written the document, in response to a mandate from the Church Council on Ecumenical and International Relations. The church’s Human Rights Committee is the church’s expert panel on human rights and plays an important role in supporting various human rights efforts in the church.


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