Statement On Land

Whereas this is the year 1992

Whereas human beings have an absolute intrinsic value

Whereas this value is equal for all

Whereas the endowment of the natural world is a great gift we have received

Whereas on this continent during the past five hundred years there have been and still are guiding principles which treat people and the natural world as objects, deny their intrinsic value, push them out of the way, use them for gain

Whereas great suffering and been caused

Whereas great injustice has been visited

Whereas this suffering and injustice have been interpreted as natural and right by the civil, military and religious authority of the country

Whereas this suffering fell first most heavily on Indian people who were living here originally

and later on African people who were brought here by force

and on Latin people who were displaced by war and on many who have come here escaping misery

and on those who slip and fall or are sick or young or old

or ordinary people, getting along

and it falls even on exploiters themselves, for their humanity is lost

Whereas the land provides the ground beneath our feet

Whereas the land gives us food

Whereas the land produces the materials we need

Whereas the land provides a base for our shelter and our daily activities

Whereas the land provides space for our imagination and projects

Whereas the land provides a platform for independent action

and a portion of self-sufficient livelihood

Whereas the land demands care and responsibility

Whereas the number of landowners has been decreasing

Whereas the extremes between ownership and non-ownership have been increasing

Whereas human poverty and oppression have been increasing

Whereas the means of separating people from land have been unfair, illegal and ruthless

Whereas the natural endowment has been damaged in the process

Whereas the moment provides an opportunity for new direction

We resolve to work toward reform of the land ownership patterns in this country so that indigenous land is protected

so that ownership of land is more evenly distributed

so that greater justice is achieved

so that natural endowment is better protected

so that people have a better chance to reach their full potential, individually and collectively

We resolve to learn about the historical land struggles and strategies of other groups of people and to form alliances with them on this issue

We resolve to document these struggles and strategies and share them with others with live and work and with whom we speak and correspond

We resolve to work toward new mechanisms, policies and models for broad ownership of land

and we resolve to challenge others to join in this mission.


Challenge to Churches
Project Description
People's Book of Land