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14 November 2012

Tony Blair calls on Christians to fight poverty

Tony Blair calls on Christians to fight poverty

Ex-British prime minister Tony Blair is part of a new project to inspire Christians to campaign on behalf of the world’s poor.

The Micah Challenge, Christian Aid and Compassion have come together to release a series of videos for their nine week course, The Jesus Agenda.

Mr Blair will be appearing in these videos alongside the founder of Alpha Nicky Gumbel and other world figures.

In an interview with Joel Edwards, the international director of Micah Challenge, said: "If our faith means anything to us. If we can see the inspiration of Christ in any real way, then how can we remain passive in what still remains a situation where hundreds of thousands of people, in fact millions of people die needlessly.

"We have to be out there helping… not just by bringing relief, but by changing the systems of governance that promote things like corruption."

The course aims to offer a biblical framework for advocacy.

It also fits into Micah Challenge’s wider aims to encourage Christians to remind politicians of their promises to meet the Millennium Development Goals and to halve extreme poverty.

Joel Edwards said: "If it is true that one in three people in the world are Christians then imagine what would happen if all of us who claim to follow Christ became passionate advocates of the Jesus agenda.

"God cares about the 950 million people going hungry every day and the 19 million under-fives who are at imminent risk of death from hunger.

"We are encouraged that Tony Blair and dozens of other world figures are on the same page on issues of justice for the poor.”

He went on to say: “The Jesus Agenda aims to mobilise the worldwide church to speak up for the poor and speak out against the evil of extreme poverty.”

The CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance, Geoff Tunnicliffe, said: “This unique study raises some provocative questions and asks us to re-imagine how Jesus’ words should inspire and motivate the Church today.”

Another person interviewed on the videos was Pastor Dario Lopez Rodriguez from Peru, who argues that Christians have grown more aware of how they can link worship with their everyday lives and said: “God is the God of life. God loves poor people. God loves justice.”