The Common Good

Evangelicals for Darfur

Sojomail - October 18, 2006


"I have no interest in fighting this war ... I just want to go home."

- Ibrahim Atoum Rahal, a soldier in the Sudanese Army sent to fight rebel forces in Darfur. When attacked, Rahal deserted, and is now wounded and imprisoned in a Chad border town. (Source: The New York Times)

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Hearts & Minds by Jim Wallis

Evangelicals for Darfur

Perhaps you noticed it when you opened your newspaper this morning. Today an unprecedented collection of 24 evangelical Christian leaders launched Evangelicals for Darfur – an urgent campaign to bring an end to the genocide in Darfur, the western region of Sudan where horrific violence occurs every day. Up to 400,000 people have already been killed, 2.5 million have been displaced, and it could get even worse very fast.

In numerous conversations over the last few weeks, several evangelical Christian leaders have discovered a profound unity on the crisis in Darfur. Believing this is a time and an issue that transcends other political differences, a number of us began talking about how we could respond to this enormous moral challenge. Those conversations have led us, in partnership with the Save Darfur Coalition, to create Evangelicals for Darfur, an effort that brings together the voices of evangelical Christians to call for an end to the incredible suffering in Darfur.

A broad and diverse group of evangelical leaders is now acting together. We do not all agree on other issues, but we are united in the conviction that our faith compels us to do everything we possibly can to bring an end to the horror in Darfur. In crucial matters of life and death, there is no left or right; there is only right and wrong.

Today, full-page ads ran in USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and a host of other national and regional newspapers calling on President Bush to use every resource and diplomatic tool available to get a U.N. peacekeeping force on the ground in Darfur. These ads are only the beginning of what we believe could be a tipping point in the world’s response to this horrible crisis.

When I spoke to my friend Richard Land - a key Southern Baptist leader - about this effort, he said, “Jim, if people see evangelical leaders like you and me speaking together on this issue, it could light a fire in America and give the president the power to do what he would really like to do.” We are acting on our faith, calling on President Bush to act on his faith and lead the effort to put a substantial peacekeeping force on the ground in Darfur - nothing else will save the people.

I am deeply encouraged by the broad spectrum of Christians and other people of faith that are speaking out on Darfur, and I hope you are, too. I truly believe this is one of those moments in our lives when what God requires of us couldn't be more clear. Like the Good Samaritan, we simply cannot pass by our suffering brothers and sisters on the side of the road. I urge you to join us now. At, you can view the ads that ran in today’s papers, learn more about the genocide in Darfur, add your voice to this urgent message, and learn how you and your church can get involved in calling for an end to the suffering.

A final note – we are calling this effort Evangelicals for Darfur not to exclude any other denominations or faith groups, but to recognize the special impact evangelical Christians – from across the political spectrum – can have on this crisis.

I am excited to be joining with you, your family, and your church in this important effort. Together we can help make a lifesaving difference for our brothers and sisters in Darfur.

“Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” —Luke 10:36-37

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