Rioting in the UK: Why?

Over this past week in major cities of the UK, though especially in London, rioting and looting has taken place. Cars are being torched, shops broken into and looted, police attacked and civilians injured. Even 13 year old lads and girls are being found guilty of looting shops and being involved in the rioting.
So, one inevitably has to ask; “why?”. The BBC website offers 10 possible explanations
  • Welfare dependence
  • Social exclusion
  • Lack of fathers
  • Spending cuts
  • Weak policing
  • Racism
  • Gangsta rap and culture
  • Consumerism
  • Opportunism
  • Technology and social networking

So, as Christians what is our response? Are any of the above reasons legitimate? Do we as Christians bear any responsibility for what is happening? After all, our first response when we see wickedness in action is to seek inside our own lives and our own communities (the church) for sin that we need to confess.
At base level the gospel is the answer to the problem, however the answer is slightly more complex than “get on the streets and preach the gospel”. Many problems are involved to cause this situation including at least very unstable families weakened by men not acting as fathers (working to support the family and being role models). And it reveals that people are becoming discontent with life and are looking for ways to express their anger.
If God is sovereign over everything (which He most certainly is) then the problem for us is to work out how this is for God's glory. The Christian response, I believe, is multi-faceted;
  • We need to firstly realise that evil in any society (and therefore our own) is always related to a turning away from God.
  • And therefore, it should be a cause of the greatest sadness to see such things happening on our streets and bring us to greater prayer and fasting for the work of the gospel in the nation.
  • The fact that the people who are involved in the rioting and looting are very young points to the fact that the families in our culture are breaking down. The best thing that we, as Christians can do to counter this is to live in our families in such a way as to shine the gospel through a Christian relationship.
  • We need to be quick also to repent of our lack of energy in showing Christ around us and being his ambassadors and witnesses.
So, these are some of the Christian responses and here are some prayer points for the coming week.
  • That order would be restored and justice done.
  • That the church would give a clear message and respond Biblically.
  • That those who are feeling the hopelessness of life would be caused to seek Christ.
  • That the riots would serve as a ‘wake up call’ to the UK and people would start thinking about God.
  • That God would bring glory to Himself through these events

By T vdB


  1. Great Thomas

    Relevant and succinct. Hits the nail on the head.


  2. Great article. I think the way to change our country is to start with ourselves. If we don't want our children to behave like that, we have to be the strong families and set the example for the rest of the country, showing them the difference Christ makes to our lives.


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