Christians Dub 2005 the Year Against Poverty

More than 100 leading non-governmental humanitarian, campaign, relief and Christian groups formed an umbrella group campaign called “Make Poverty History” in the United Kingdom. The anti-poverty effort, which comes just months before the UK Government is expected to assume the presidency of the powerful European Union, is yet another initiative by Christian groups worldwide to take one of the most critical mandates of Christ to the forefront of action: showing love to our neighbors.

Christian groups involved in “Make Poverty History” in clued Tearfund, CAFOD, Christian Aid and World Vision – all groups that have been working individually over several decades to alleviate poverty in less developed countries.

“Christians have a duty to defend the helpless and to cry out against injustice,” said World Vision’s Director of Advocacy, Communications and Education, Rudo Kwaramba.

“Around 1.2 billion people live on less than 60 pence a day and every day 30,000 people die because of poverty. This is totally unacceptable and it’s time that we stood united to call for change.”

The united call for change is similar to the campaigns undertaken by world church groups, including the World Evangelical Association, in the past year. The WEA, along with hundreds of smaller Christian groups, launched the International Micah Challenge, in New York, in October. The Micah Challenge, which borrows its name from the Old Testament prophet Micah, urges Christians to deepen their engagement with the poor and to lead the way in eliminating poverty.

Micah Challenge also announced on Dec. 20 that it is “supporting and participating in a major global advocacy initiative for 2005.” The initiative, entitled, “Global Call to Action Against Poverty (G-CAP),” brings together over 140 civil society organizations from around the world to call on their governments to make a “breakthrough on poverty in 2005.”

Make Poverty History is one of the initiatives undertaken by G-CAP, specifically in the UK. The Christian groups will campaign particularly during international government meetings, to press governments to eradicate poverty through “trade justice, debt cancellation and a major in crease in the quantity and quality of aid.”

“It is hoped that it will be one of the greatest mobilisations of civil society in recent decades around the issue of poverty,” the Micah Challenge statement read.

For more information on Make Poverty History, visit online at: www.makepovertyhistory.org.

For the Micah Challenge, go to: www.micahchallenge.org.