FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                  

June 1, 2015                                                                                                                    




Fito Moreno, Bread for the World, (202) 812-2223,

Michael Mershon, Sojourners, (202) 745-4625,

Sarah Kropp, National Association of Evangelicals,



Religious Leaders Urge U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham to
Make Hunger and Poverty a Priority

Washington, D.C., June 1, 2015 –As U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) begins his presidential campaign, the Circle of Protection is asking him to record a video telling Americans what he would do to provide help and opportunity for hungry and poor people if elected.

On Monday, Graham officially announced his bid for the 2016 Republican nomination for president.

“We are praying for a president who will make ending hunger and poverty a top priority of his or her administration. Are you that leader?” the Circle of Protection asked in a letter sent to the senator. They asked him to record his answer in a three-minute video

“As national leaders from all the major branches of Christianity, we care deeply about many issues facing our country, but ending hunger and poverty is a top priority,” the religious leaders wrote.

Throughout the world, many countries have dramatically reduced the incidence of hunger. However, in the United States, 49.1 million Americans, including 18.1 million children, still struggle to put food on the table. Last year, 14.1 percent of South Carolina households were at risk of hunger. The state has the ninth highest poverty rate in the country. Over 18 percent of residents lived in poverty in 2013. Further, more than 1 in 4 children in the state were living in poverty, including 95,623 children under age 5.

The Circle of Protection will broadly publicize the presidential candidate’s video among churches and the public. The Circle of Protection will not evaluate the presidential candidates’ policy positions or endorse any candidate.


The Circle of Protection will call on people of faith to examine the presidential candidates’ proposals to address poverty both at home and abroad, and to consider the mandate to those who govern to “give deliverance to the needy” (Psalm 72).


“The calling to public service is a sacred vocation. We hold you, and all of the candidates for nomination and election, in our prayers,” they added.




The Circle of Protection is composed of Christian leaders who are heads of denominations, agencies, and organizations. To learn more, visit