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Churches Appeal to and Pledge Support to New US President on Issues of Peace and Poverty
 


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President Obama'a official portrait shows him standing before the US flag.

President Barack Obama.
Image by: whitehouse.gov

New York, NY, January 20, 2009--Several ecumenical Christian groups in the United States both appealed to and pledged to support the president in matters dealing with peace, poverty, and human rights.

Timed to the inauguration of Barack H. Obama on January 20, the letters and statements represent a broad spectrum of Christian groups.

The US Conference of the World Council of Churches sent Mr. Obama a letter urging him, the citizens of the US, and the churches to take up a list of concerns, many of which were, in fact, mentioned in the new president's inaugural address.

The World Council letter said:

Much is required of you and us if we are to begin to turn things around. We must take responsibility for and work together to:

  • Repair the breach of trust between individuals and entire nations, and replenish goodwill with our neighbors near and far;
  • Re-collect us back together, not as red and blue states, but as the United States of America;
  • Rekindle and lift up the common good over self-interest and greed;
  • Restore the sense of human dignity of each person regardless of race or class;
  • Recognize our own complicity in building a predatory economy on the backs of those most vulnerable, and reconstruct an economy with an emphasis not just on the middle class, but on the poor;
  • Renew a concrete, measurable commitment to human rights;
  • Rebuild an education system that attends to the needs of all of society;
  • Replenish God's good creation in whatever ways possible;
  • Recommit ourselves to the right of every person to have access to health care.

The full text of the letter can be read online at oikoumene.org. The United Methodist Church is a member of the World Council of Churches, composed of Protestant and Eastern Orthodox communions that collectively have 590 million members.

Earlier, Christian Churches Together in the USA, a broadly ecumenical organization, sent the president-elect a letter focused on the need for more governmental, civic, and religious action to overcome poverty in the US. Like the World Council letter, this appeal also contained pledges of religious action. The document said:

Christian Churches Together will promote its commitment to overcoming domestic poverty by inviting all Christians and all people, especially our leaders in public life, to embrace and implement the following objectives:

  • To strengthen families and communities; because they are essential bulwarks against poverty;
  • To reduce child poverty; we seek to cut child poverty by 50 percent in the next ten years;
  • To make work work; by combating racism and guaranteeing that full-time work offers a realistic escape from poverty and access to good health care;
  • To strengthen the educational system in our country with particular attention to the public schools; because access to quality education offers perhaps the best way out of poverty.

The United Methodist Church is also a member of Christian Churches Together, whose letter can be found online at www.christianchurchestogether.org/poverty.

Other religious organizations, including those concerned with US immigration, peace in the Middle East, and other causes timed appeals to the new president to coincide with the inauguration. Christian groups outside the US also sent messages, including the Christian Peace Network in Japan.

Click Here. See also Texts of Prayers at Inauguration of President Obama; Global Ministries News - 1/20/09


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Topic: Advocacy Christian love Prayers United Methodist Church Partners/partnerships Letters Statements
Geographic Region: United States
Source: GBGM Press Releases
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Date posted: Jan 20, 2009