The Common Good
September-October 2001

Holy Resistance

by Rose Marie Berger, Susannah Hunter | September-October 2001

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has decided that breaking the law
can be a Christian duty.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has decided that breaking the law can be a Christian duty. "A readiness to undertake civil disobedience constitutes a part of giving unqualified primary allegiance to God," states a discussion paper published by the Ontario-based Christian association.

"Christians are involved in various types of protest to raise the profile of certain government policies," said Janet Epp Buckingham, director of the EFC's Religious Liberty Commission. "This paper will help those trying to determine if praying at an abortion clinic or protesting at global economic meetings are biblically approved or biblically condemned." The document, "Christians and Civil Disobedience" (, says that as governments expand their influence over the lives of citizens and as "governmental and public morality deteriorates, Christians will increasingly find themselves driven to civil disobedience."

"In the past, people would have said categorically [that] breaking the law is not appropriate for Christians unless a specific religious practice is prohibited," said Epp Buckingham. "In this paper we're taking the next step and saying there may be situations where it's appropriate." The EFC is an alliance of 32 Protestant and evangelical churches and colleges, including the Baptist Church, the Wesleyan Church, and the Salvation Army.

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