"And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'" - Matthew 25:40Evangelical Christians are uniting in an urgent effort to bring an immediate end to the genocide in Darfur.
In recent weeks, evangelical leaders have discovered profound unity on this crisis. Believing that God was calling them to act, a number of those leaders began talking about how evangelical Christians could respond together to this call. Those conversations led to the creation of Evangelicals for Darfur, a campaign that brings together media, web, and grassroots advocacy to call for an end to the senseless suffering in Darfur.
A broad and diverse group of evangelical leaders were eager to participate in this project. The leaders signed onto ads that are currently running in the nation's major newspapers calling on our nation's political leaders to boldly lead the effort to stop the suffering. I saw the ad in today's edition of the Chicago Tribune. The names at the bottom of the ad included:
- Rev. Rob Bell, Founding Pastor, Mars Hill Bible Church, author of Velvet Elvis
- Bishop Charles Blake, Pastor, West Angeles Church of God in Christ, Founder, Save Africa's Children
- Dr. Tony Campolo, Baptist evangelist and international speaker
- Rev. Rich Cizik, Vice-president for Government Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals
- Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr., President, Esperanza USA
- Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary, Reformed Church in America.
- Rev. Ted Haggard, President, National Association of Evangelicals
- Rev. Dr. Roberta Hestenes, Pastor, Community Presbyterian Church, Former President, Eastern University
- Dr. Joel Hunter, President, Christian Coalition of America
- Rev. Bill Hybels, Pastor, Willow Creek Church, leader of Willow Creek Association
- Bishop Harry Jackson, President, High Impact Leadership Coalition
- Dr. Richard Land, President, Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
- Rev. Brian McLaren, author, leader in emerging church
- David Neff, Editor & Vice President, Christianity Today
- Dr. Glenn R. Palmberg, President, Evangelical Covenant Church
- Dr. Bob Roberts, Jr., Founding Pastor, NorthWood Church & founder of the Glocalnet network of churches
- Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Jr., President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
- Rev. Dr. William J. Shaw, President, National Baptist Convention, USA
- Dr. Ron Sider, Founder and President, Evangelicals for Social Action
- Rev. Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director, World Evangelical Alliance
- Rev. Jim Wallis, President, Sojourners/Call to Renewal, author of God's Politics
- Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, MD, Co-Founder, My Sister's Keeper
- Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, President, Skinner Leadership Institute
- Lauren Winner, author, and Visiting Lecturer, Duke Divinity School
The ad read as follows:
Without you, Mr. President,
Darfur doesn't have a prayer.
We come to you from across the evangelical spectrum. We beseech you to act on your faith and do the right thing by leading the world to stop the genocide affecting "the least of these" in Darfur. To date, more than 400,000 people have been killed. 2.5 million displaced. Countless more have been raped, maimed, and tortured: Men, women, and children created in God's image, innocents all. Ending the atrocities will require your personal leadership in supporting the deployment of a strong U.N. peacekeeping force and multilateral economic sanctions. While we often disagree on matters of politics, we are united in the belief that your intervention can make the critical difference in Darfur. We join together now to urge you, in the words of Proverbs 24:11-12, to "rescue those being led away to death." We pledge to do everything we can to rally support in both Congress and the U.N. to uphold your efforts in bringing the horror in Darfu to an end.
If you want to add your name to the statement visit www.evangelicalsfordarfur.org. I am deeply encouraged by the broad spectrum of Christians who are speaking out together on this issue. Many of the names on this list are leaders whom I deeply respect. This is a cause that all of us should be able to get behind, regardless of denomination, theology, or political camp. For in matters of life and death, there is no left or right, there is only right and wrong. Together we can help make a life-saving difference for our brothers and sisters in Darfur.