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Call to Action: Christians for Divestment

By William Loughridge ‘26

February 29, 2024

“Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

My siblings in Christ, 

Christ has called us to justice. Now, more than ever, this work is made manifest before us. Over 30,000 Palestinians and 1000 Israelis have been killed in the past months. Palestine sits at risk of induced famine, making it one of the most deadly and destructive conflicts in recent history.  The International Court of Justice has found Israel’s actions to constitute a genocide, yet human rights have continued to be egregiously violated as attempts at peace have been struck down. Some of the oldest churches in the world, many which serve as places of refuge, have been destroyed in bombing campaigns, and Sunday services are inundated with a mourning congregation.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9

Christ has called us to be peacemakers. On campus, many of our neighbors have been calling for peace, from the Jews for Ceasefire Now to the Brown Divest Coalition to the 19 students who took on a hunger strike, the hopes for peace have been expressed in both the desire for divestment (removal of University investment from companies complicit in human rights abuses) and the desire for a ceasefire. As Christians, our hope is in the Lord, for God’s will in heaven to be done here on earth. We must fervently seek peace, and an end to the fighting in Gaza. As members of the Brown community, we are responsible for advocating an end to Brown’s support of such violence. 

“But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

Christ has called us to prayer. Not only praying for ourselves and our loved ones, but praying for those who are our neighbors as those who are our enemies. As we aim to follow Christ’s commands, let us pray unceasingly (1 Thess. 15:16) for the safety of all those affected by the ongoing violence, Christian and not, and for the safety and discernment of all those fighting for peace, both at Brown and beyond. 

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Christ has called us to love. One way we can show love to our Palestinian siblings in Christ is by joining their calls for an end to the violence in Gaza, and joining with our siblings in Christ both in the U.S and abroad in vocal calls for a ceasefire. In these calls, we are speaking truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and supporting those who call for peace. Our distant vision of the sword beaten into plowshare (Isaiah 2:4) is not enough—we have been called to action; when millions suffer, action must be taken, an action of love. 

“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.” James 2:26

We, the Christian community at Brown University, have failed to love our Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Palestinian neighbors as Christ has commanded us. As followers of Christ, we are called to love the Lord with all our hearts, keep his commandments, and love our neighbors. If we fail to stand with our neighbors’ calls for divestment of the Brown endowment and an immediate end to the fighting in Gaza, we fail to show Christ’s love. We, as Christians, must embody Christ's teachings by echoing calls for divestment and ceasefire, and re-committing ourselves to the all-powerful love of God which has so changed us. His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Our faith compels us to call for a ceasefire. 

Now that the hunger strike has ended, and the Lenten season of fasting has begun, what actions can we take? For us, as followers of Christ, we can commit ourselves to deepening our faith this season of Lent; through prayer and prayerful fasting for peace and justice, through meditating on scripture, through listening to our Muslim and Jewish neighbors, through continually educating ourselves, and through echoing the calls for divestment and ceasefire on campus in a way that shows the love of Christ we have. Please join in a day of prayer and fasting (Matthew 6:16)  for peace and justice on Friday, March 1st. 

For a full list of signatories, click here. If you wish to add your name/your organization to this letter, please fill out this form

“He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39

Note: all verses taken from the NRSV, 5th Edition.


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