The fight against hunger

Christians and persons of other faiths gathered this week at the National Cathedral to urge governments to end hunger.

The Christian Post reports:

“I think all Christian people have experienced the goodness of God and it is that experience of God’s goodness and care that sustains us and makes us want to reach out and change the world and help hungry people in serious ways,” said the Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, on Sunday.

“The reality is that we don’t need more than an additional $75 billion to meet all the goals in all of the countries by 2015,” said Salil Shetty, director of the U.N. Millennium Campaign, at the event.

Shetty was referring to the estimated $75 billion in additional development assistance needed each year from all the rich nations to meet the Millennium Development Goals, which aim to cut global poverty in half by 2015. The U.S. would be responsible for about $25 billion.

“If the G-8 can’t find the money last week, then where did they find the $900 billion for arms sales,” he questioned to an applauding crowd. “If the G-8 could not find the money last week, then where did they find the $300 billion or more spent last year on Iraq alone.”

The U.N. Millennium Campaign director said grassroots Christian leaders are “so powerful” in the fight against hunger because politicians care about being re-elected and Christian citizens hold the power to vote them into office.

Temfwe told a story about a non-Christian community leader in Zambia who said to a fellow church leader while working together for the betterment of their communities:

“I didn’t know the church was interested in sanitation. I didn’t know that the church was interested in what kind of water we drink. I didn’t know the church was interested in what kind of roads are in our communities,” recalled the Jubilee Center in Zambia director. “Had you told me this, I would have become a Christian a long time ago.”

In a later report the Christian Post added:

Thousands of believers from different faith groups united with the common goal of eliminating world hunger at the famed Washington National Cathedral on Monday.

The second annual Interfaith Convocation on Hunger brought together pastors, rabbis, imams, and people of faith to call on Congress and the president to renew their commitment to end hunger.


“You can’t connect with God if you walk away from hunger or if you don’t take it seriously,” declared the Rev. David Beckmann.

I figure people of faith are not taken seriously, are not taken to be people of faith, if they pass to the other side of the road. Evangelism of those in need and those not in need has the same basis.

This Reuters report has more information on the legislative agenda of the group.

Economist Jeffrey Sachs is one of the few economists who believes world poverty can be stamped out. Here’s a Vanity Fair story on him that’s just appeared.

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