The Common Good

Evangelicals for Darfur

Sojomail - October 18, 2006


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"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 evangelicalsfordarfur.org, 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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THIS WEEK IN GOD'S POLITICS

+ See what's new on the blog of Jim Wallis and friends

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The Religious Right has succeeded in resurrecting Christianity’s main intellectual competitor: atheism.

Amy Sullivan: I'm Shocked!
As much respect as I have for people who believed in the promise of the faith-based initiative at the beginning, I have always thought of it as I have the invasion of Iraq: Not necessarily a bad idea, but given what we knew of Bush and his advisors, there was no reason to think it would turn out well.

Brian McLaren: Thank God for Real Journalism
May God help us all respond to the many miseries among two-thirds of the world’s people, whose stories, voices, and cries must be heard. They may not be celebrities, but each one is precious to God, and their stories matter, just as it matters how we listen and respond.

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David Kuo was one of those genuine "compassionate conservatives" that many liberals don’t believe really exist, but truly do. Yet he eventually came to realize that there weren't many compassionate conservatives in the White House, which preferred to use the religious community for its own political purposes.

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Top Stories:

Voters’ Guides Define Moral Compromises to Take to Polls The New York Times
"Voting God’s Politics" is very different. The product of Sojourners, a liberal monthly magazine with evangelical roots, this voters’ guide gives seven brief headings like "Compassion and Economic Justice" or "Peace and Restraint of Violence." Each is followed by a biblical passage and several recommended public policies.

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On Monday, Wallis, author of God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It, launched Red Letter Christians, an effort that takes its name from the red ink some Bibles use to highlight the words of Jesus Christ. A nonpartisan faith-based campaign, it will open field offices in key battleground states and provide voter guides, speakers and information on such issues as poverty, social justice, education, and the environment, but will not endorse candidates.

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"Sojourners in the news" articles are the most recent news clippings that mention Sojourners in any way - whether favorably or unfavorably. Though we provide the text on our site for your convenience, we do not necessarily endorse the views of these articles or their source publications.


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