21 January 2011
Christians most readied and powerful agent to eradicate global poverty
More than 11,000 individual written pledges to help halve extreme poverty are being handed to MPs in Parliament.
The promises were made by tens of thousands of churchgoers across Britain on the iconic date 10.10.10 as part of the What's Your Promise? campaign*. On that date an estimated 60 million Christians around the world joined in prayers to remember the poor.
These very promises will be handed over to MPs on January 25 at the House of Commons. The event marks the culmination of a year-long campaign that seeks to remind countries of their commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). In 2000 the UK joined 188 other nations in promising to halve extreme poverty by 2015 as a signatory of the MDG. The Micah Challenge works by encouraging Christians around the world to hold their leaders accountable to these goals.
The aim of the What's Your Promise? campaign is to encourage individuals to make personal promises to try to reduce the effects of poverty. Such promises have included pledges to lobby Parliament, buy Fair Trade products or give more to charity.
Joel Edwards, International Director of Micah Challenge, says: "The fact that 60 million Christians have all made promises shows that the global church is one of the most powerful and readied agents for change on poverty the world has ever seen."
Among the MPs who received the promises was Andrew George, representing St Ives in Cornwall, who said: "These promises have given me a clearer picture of the work that needs to be done if the government is to meet the MDGs in the next four years. The Christian maxim that 'charity begins at home' means what it says. Charity begins at home, it doesn't end there."
Stephen O'Brien Undersecretary of State for International Development, who will receive the promises on behalf of the government, added: "It's heartening to see the Church working with MPs to see the Millennium Development Goals met by 2015."
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Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.