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At Tearfund, we believe that broken relationships are the root cause of poverty and injustice. Alienating strangers, disregarding differences and marginalising minorities do not reflect the Kingdom of God or the welcome that Christ offers to all.

Diversity is woven into the very essence of this world: this is clear from the variety of life we find in the creation story. Yet diversity has not remained the gift that God intended it to be. Instead, it has become a means for discrimination and prejudice, keeping relationships broken and leading to the creation of societal systems which perpetuate injustice and are a major cause of poverty.

The Global Forum on diversity and inclusion took place in November 2021 and provided a unique space for practitioners, academics and theologians to reflect on both the theology of inclusion and its practical application. Each day’s theme allowed participants to consider inclusion from a different perspective: as a journey, as requiring change, and as belonging.

Over the event, we discussed the concept of inclusion, the theologies that shape our policies and practices today, and the behaviours and systems that – unless challenged – will continue to cause injustices in the future.

In particular, we explored inclusion as it relates to race, ethnicity, disability and gender.

Theological reflections

View the presentations of our seven speakers, who unpack the theological foundations for the change we believe is necessary as we move towards more inclusive approaches to disability, gender, and race and ethnicity.

The content shared represents the speakers’ own views and do not necessarily reflect the views of Tearfund.

Havilah Dharamraj: Understanding the male-female relationship through Genesis 1-3

Jill Harshaw: Christian theology and the spiritual experience of people with intellectual disabilities

Dr Joanna Leidenhag: Autism and relational approaches to theological anthropology

Nabil Habibi: Jesus and impure spaces: A biblical reflection on inclusion

Nancy Bedford: Gender violence, injustice, and feminist christology

Lizette Tapia-Raquel: The promise of inclusion in divine and human multiplicity

Nina Balmaceda: Findings and recommendations around gender and inclusion in Christian ministry

Zoom recordings

Watch some of the live sessions from the Global Forum, including keynote speeches, times of devotion and prayer, and panel discussions about the journey towards inclusion. 

Jayakumar keynote

Panel: Inclusion as a journey

Panel: Inclusion as requiring change

Sisay keynote

Esther Mombo keynote

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