We all want to feel safe and secure in our communities and as we go about our lives. But most of us feel vulnerable to crime in its many manifestations: theft, violence assault, fraud, hate crimes and abuse. Christians have a tradition of bringing our theological heritage into dialogue with politics on a variety of issues: what kinds of sentences to mete out to wrong-doers; how those sent to prison should be treated; how those who have paid the price for their wrongdoing should be welcomed back into society. But the questions are ongoing: what might the theological concepts of ‘justice’ and ‘mercy’ have to say in our current social context? Who are the vulnerable and the weak? When perpetrators of crime are victims of other kinds of injustice, does that make a difference to our perspective on how they should be treated?

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