WASHINGTON, DC — Sojourners, as part of the Circle of Protection, sent a letter to all members of Congress and key members of the Biden administration calling on them to pass a new round of COVID relief legislation that addresses the “concurrent crises of the pandemic, economic recession, and systemic racism.” 

We urged Congress to “pass legislation that responds to these crises head-on with a plan that matches the magnitude and urgency of the challenge and addresses the injustices and inequities laid bare by COVID." We asked members of Congress from both parties to work together on legislation along the lines of President Biden's proposal, which focuses on the people and communities who have been hit hardest by the current crisis.

“The moral obligation of this nation to combat the pandemic is a moral imperative for Christians,” Rev. Adam Taylor, President of Sojourners, said. “If we are to truly follow the Matthew 25 directives to treat the most vulnerable how we treat Christ himself, then it's imperative that we get this pandemic under control.”

“COVID-19 is revealing all the inequities in our systems in new and stark ways that expose the injustices that were already there,” Rev. Jim Wallis, founder and ambassador of Sojourners, said. “What we have seen over the last year is the reversal of biblical values and priorities in which the most vulnerable are to be among the first, not the last. It is time for the Congress to step up with the resources necessary to address these crises.”

The Circle of Protection is a broad and unprecedented coalition of church and ministry leaders from the main families of U.S. Christianity — Catholic, evangelical Protestant, ecumenical Protestant, the Historic African American churches, and Latino churches — working to address issues of poverty and hunger through advocacy work. Together, the church bodies in the Circle of Protection have close to 100 million members. 

Our collective statement shows that it is possible to bridge theological, sociological, and political divides to address the urgent needs of millions of Americans. These leaders — seeking to answer Jesus’s call to care for the sick and poor — recognize that in this moment that means passing a legislative package that will address the country’s health and economic challenges.

###