LONDON – Thousands of Christians are expected to join a major march through central London to demand that G20 leaders meeting in London next week agree on a fair and sustainable future for the global economy.
The "Put People First" march has been organized by an unprecedented alliance of more than 150 organizations, including The Salvation Army, World Vision, Oxfam and Friends of the Earth.
They are demanding that G20 leaders not only fix the economy but ensure that measures towards its recovery are fair to the poor and good for the environment. Marchers are also calling for decent jobs, public services for all, and an end to global poverty and inequality.
Sue Mbaya, World Vision Director of Africa Advocacy, said: "The G20 Summit in London is a key opportunity for the richest nations to put people first and to tackle first and foremost the affects of the financial crisis on the poor who stand to be hit hardest."
She urged G20 leaders not to sideline the poor.
"The World Bank estimates that this year alone the global financial crisis is set to trap 53 million more people into poverty in developing countries on top of more than 130 million driven into poverty in 2008 by the rise in food and fuel prices. These numbers cannot be ignored."
Some 2,000 people are expected to join the ecumenical service at Central Hall in Westminster.
"As global leaders gather in London, it is crucial that the world's poorest communities are not forgotten," said Dr Chartres.
"The Put People First service and rally is our opportunity to make the case for a global society that is committed to tackling poverty, injustice and climate change with the aim of creating a brighter future for the many and not just the few."
On Sunday, Christians will pray for the G20 meeting as part of Micah Challenge's Rise Up campaign.