20 July 2014
UK & African evangelical churches appeal to David Cameron over FGM
Leaders of Christian organisations and churches, representing hundreds of thousands of evangelical Christians, want David Cameron to increase his political influence to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Africa.
All the leaders, members of the Evangelical Alliance UK's council, have signed a petition to be presented to David Cameron at the Girls Summit on 22 July on behalf of Evangelical Alliances in 21 African countries. The petition is led by the charity 28 Too Many which is aiming to end FGM across 28 countries in Africa and the diaspora.
Dr Ann-Marie Wilson, executive director of 28 Too Many, states: "We work on this strong message to the government which shows the commitment of faith leaders to ending FGM".
Jim Olang, spokesman for the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA), said that the UK is the world's biggest supporter to end FGM and his hope and prayer is that Mr Cameron would step up the work by British agencies to help African states end the practice.
"Female genital mutilation is harmful and erodes gains made in the advancement of women and girls. To remain silent, condone or ignore acts of FGM is to promote and rubber-stamp this archaic practice. Silence is the voice of complicity," said Olang.
The AEA represents 100 million evangelical Christians in 23 African countries. FGM is practised in 21 of these countries as a tradition. It is not a religious requirement. The World Health Organisation says there are no health benefits and consequences can be high-risk and vary from immediate problems to long-term, damaging effects.
General director of the Evangelical Alliance UK, Steve Clifford, said: "As evangelical Christians, we believe in the inherent dignity of every human being – whether male or female, and no matter where they are from. That's why we have rallied our council members and leaders from across our member churches to lend their voice to ending this horrific, unjust practice. We hope and pray that through a clear, united voice we might be able to make FGM a thing of the past."
Members of the public can sign the petition which can be found at: www.girlsummitpledge.com
Tel: 07766 444 650
Notes to Editors
Signatories to the 28 Too Many petition:
1. Steve Clifford, Evangelical Alliance UK
2. Fred Drummond, Evangelical Alliance Scotland
3. Elfed Godding, Evangelical Alliance Wales
4. Peter Lynas, Evangelical Alliance NI
5. Yemi Adedeji, One People Commission (Black and Minority Ethnic churches)
6. Kate Coleman, Next Leadership
7. Ruth Gilson, Girls' Brigade
8. Peter Grant, Restored
9. Ruth Valerio, Arocha
10. Tracy Cotterell, London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC)
11. Carl Beech, Christian Vision for Men (CVM)
12. David Wilkinson, St John's Durham
13. Lyndon Bowring, CARE
14. Manoj Raithatha, South Asian Forum
15. Wendy Beech-Ward, Compassion
16. Ram Gidoomal, South Asian Concern
17. Paul Woolley, Bible Society
18. Rachel Gardner, Romance Academy
19. Steve Uppal, All Nations Christian Centre, Wolverhampton
20. John Glass, Elim Pentecostal Church
21. Bishop Wilton Powell, Church of God of Prophecy
22. Michael Puffett, Jubilee Church Maidstone
23. Dave Richards, St Paul's &St George's Church, Edinburgh
24. Paul Wilson, development worker, Methodist Evangelicals Together
25. Steve Holmes, Individual: Theologian
26. Derek Tidball, Individual: Theologian
27. Gavin Shuker MP, Individual: Labour Party MP
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, more than 3,500 churches, 600 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.
Association of Evangelicals in Africa
Formed in 1966 to promote evangelical unity, fellowship and Christian witness in Africa, the Association of Evangelicals in Africa has grown into a continental family of over 100 million evangelicals comprising 36 National Evangelical Fellowships that are made up of numerous local churches. There are 34 Associate Members who consist of Para-Church organizations, and 11 Special Members representing local Churches in countries where there are no National Evangelical Alliances.
28 Too Many
28 Too Many is a values based charity funded by supporters and donations, created to help eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the twenty-eight countries within Africa where it is practiced, and the diaspora. There are three strands of work undertaken by 28 Too Many:
- Production of country profiles detailing key data relating to the prevalence of FGM.
- Facilitation of networks of organisations promoting the abandonment of FGM.
- Advocating for the global eradication of FGM.
28 Too Many aims to reduce the incidence of FGM in 10 countries, by 10% in 10 years.The organisation was founded by Dr Ann-Marie Wilson in 2010. Reports completed: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone