The Strategist

Church of England doubts compatibility of investments with faith

12/23/2019 - 09:20

The Church of England decided to find out if its investment fund can hold shares in major technology companies. The doubts are caused by fears that artificial intelligence undermines "the very idea of God".

The Church of England will examine compatibility of investments in major technology companies with the Christian faith. A verification of this issue over the next 12 months will be undertaken by an ethical investment advisory group, Bloomberg reports citing a representative of the Church.

Ethics and theologians will help determine whether the Anglican Church’s multi-billion dollar investment fund can hold shares in companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google, given concerns that artificial intelligence technology is undermining “the very idea of God.”

Through its funds, the Anglican Church manages investments of £ 12 billion ($ 15.6 billion). Now the church adheres to the policy of selling shares in companies that do not comply with ethical and environmental standards, and also do not solve the problem of climate change.

Over the past two years, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has been among the 20 most valuable assets of the Church of England, Bloomberg reports. Amazon's Internet retailer was on the same list in 2017, but a year ago this fact became a cause for criticism of the investment strategy of the church. The head of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, called the gig economy (the work environment, when companies mostly recruit workers to fulfill one-time orders) “evil”. He also accused Amazon and other technology companies of “sitting on their necks” in the UK, evading taxes.