taking the words of Jesus seriously

This week, Jarrod McKenna gave a statement/sermon in front of the Magistrates Court after appearing before the judge for nonviolent direct action with #ExtinctionRebellion. For Easter, we invite you to read and watch his words below. 

I have spent my adult life dedicated to welcoming asylum seekers and refugees. I was arrested as part of #ExtinctionRebellion because by 2050 over 1 billion people face becoming climate refugees if we don’t act now. That, and because I believe Jesus is risen from the grave.

If Christmas is the season to be jolly, maybe—if the Gospels are anything to go by—Easter is the season for Christians to go to jail. Nonviolently, in imitation of Christ, of course. Why?

According to the Ecological Threats Register of 2020 produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace:

1. One hundred and forty-one countries are exposed to at least one ecological threat, with 19 countries facing four or more threats.

2. 6.4 billion people live in countries which are exposed to medium to high ecological threats.

3. Of the 157 countries covered in the Ecological Threats Register, 34 percent will face catastrophic water stress and 22 percent catastrophic food insecurity by 2050. A catastrophic threat would result in substantial displacement of people or substantial increase in undernourishment.

4. Flooding is the most common ecological threat affecting 60 percent of the countries covered in the report, followed by water stress, which will impact 43 percent of the countries by 2040.

5. Ten of the 19 countries with the highest exposure to ecological threats are among the 40 least peaceful nations on the Global Peace Index.

6. And I have already stated, an estimated 1.2 billion people are at risk of displacement by 2050.

That is unless we can dramatically pull our societies back from this suicidal reality. As Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said the night before his assassination 53 years ago to the day, “Our choice is no longer between violence and nonviolence. Our choice is nonviolence or nonexistence.”

Watch the full sermon here. 

About The Author


Australian pastor and social change educator, Jarrod McKenna, has been described by Rev. Jim Lawson, as “an expert in nonviolent social change.” Jarrod is the Founding Director of CommonGrace.org.au, a co-initiator of the #LoveMakesAWay movement for refugee rights and is a co-founder of the global GazaCeasefirePilgrimage.com movement. Jarrod pastors with Steeple Church in Melbourne and Table in the Trees in Perth, and is the co-founder of the InVerse Podcast and Collective with Dr Drew Hart. He is living on Wadjuk Noongar land, found on most maps as Perth, Australia, with the love of his life Kathleen and their boys.

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