“Proclaim freedom for the prisoners” – Luke 4:18

Christians for the Abolition of Prisons is an organization dedicated to prison abolitionist education and advocacy within the progressive church.

We believe that Jesus came to free all who are held captive and establish new forms of justice, free of retribution and within community. As followers of Jesus, we see the abolition of incarceration and the development of community-based restorative justice as a moral imperative and as our particular vocation as the Body of Christ.

Abolition is more than “just another progressive cause” of the church. Our support for the liberation of all people – including those who have committed serious crimes – is based directly in the gospel of Jesus Christ: in his life proclaiming freedom to captives and good news to the poor, in his cross that overcomes the human need for retribution for harm done, in his resurrection that burst the bonds of sin and death, and in his ongoing presence in the church community that lives out a new kind of justice. Our theology forms the basis for our moral witness against every form of imprisonment.

Jesus stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.

Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. 

The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 

He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 4:17-21 (NIV)

Sign up for our newsletter: