Christians encourage G8 leaders to remember promises made in 2000

By June 6, 2007

Germany (MNN) — Organizers of anti-G8 demonstrations and the media condemned violent clashes between police and a hardcore group of militants in the German port city of Rostock. One thousand people were injured. However, the majority of those who demonstratored did so peacefully.

Christians were among those peaceful demonstrations. Evangelicals reminded G8 leaders of their commitment to the poor and the promises they made to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015.

The meeting of the leaders of the most powerful industrial nations begins today in Heiligendamm, Northeast Germany. More than 100,000 demonstrators are expected to protest against the negative effects of globalization and urge more action to relieve poverty, to protect the environment, and to help AIDs victims.

Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA); Rev Joel Edwards, General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance in the United Kingdom; and Michael Smitheram, International Coordinator of Micah Challenge International are participating in a Christian youth training camp currently being hosted by Micah Challenge–Germany. 

Micah Challenge is a worldwide evangelical movement of churches, Christian organizations, and individuals pressuring governments to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals they agreed to in 2000. This year marks the half-way point. 

According to Tunnicliffe, they want to be "a voice for the concerns of Christians from around the world to remind G8 leaders of the needs of the church and people in the global south about poverty. We brought up the issue of Darfur."

WEA represents more than 420 million in 128 countries, many of them in the Third World. Tunnicliffe says progress is mixed as it relates to the fight on poverty. "We're significantly behind in some parts of the world in meeting those goals. [In] some places we've made some progress. But it's not just up to the government; the Christian community around the world is also committed to reflecting the heart of Jesus to the poor and deepening our commitment to the poor."

However, Tunnicliffe says it's not just about meeting physical needs. "It's living out the words of Jesus. It's bringing word and deed together. We use the words 'integral missions.' It's our speaking of Scripture and opportunity to share about the transforming work of Christ in our lives. It's lived out by making a difference in the lives of those who are in great need."

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