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The Good News on Global Poverty
THE WORLD RECEIVED some very good news in September. The percentage of the global population living in extreme poverty has dropped from 36 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2015, the lowest in recorded history. Over this period more than 1 billion people lifted themselves out of the quicksand of extreme poverty.
The Millennium Development Goals, agreed to through the United Nations in 2000, helped galvanize global leadership to cut extreme poverty in half in 15 years, a goal that was achieved a few years early due to remarkable progress in China and India. About half of the world’s countries have reduced extreme poverty below 3 percent.
In 2016, the MDGs were replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs represent a more integrated and comprehensive global agenda centered around 17 goals and 169 targets that now apply to every country in the world, not only to developing countries. They combine a commitment to end extreme poverty by the year 2030—especially in countries across sub-Saharan Africa and fragile conflict-affected states where progress has been uneven—with commitments to protect the environment, address climate change, combat inequality, promote peace, and improve governance.
Toward a More Authentic Evangelicalism
In 1971, the movement that became Sojourners was born at an evangelical seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. In 1973, Sojourners worked with Evangelicals for Social Action in a gathering Ron Sider convened, again in Chicago, which produced a document called the "Chicago Declaration of Evangelical Social Concern."
What Does It Profit ...? The Faustian Bargain in Full Display at Trump's Evangelical Dinner
What does it profit to gain the whole world but to lose your own soul? —Matthew 16:26. Is there anything more applicable today than these familiar words of a poor Palestinian Jew who conquered sin, injustice, and death on our behalf? We should take note that our savior had a consistent habit of critiquing and challenging the hypocrisy and corruption that he saw displayed by the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders of his time.
No, We Didn't 'Win' the War on Poverty. But Here's How We Can
This year’s 50th Anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign provides a critical moment for our nation and people of faith and conscience to pause and conduct a moral scan of our nation’s progress in combatting poverty in America. Despite some progress, poverty in America remains deeply entrenched.
Protecting the Vote in the Name of Faith
The purpose of Lawyers and Collars is to equip and empower pastors and local church leaders to work alongside lawyers to protect vulnerable citizens at voting precincts. Together, we can provide a legal and moral presence against voter suppression, intimidation, and harassment that are expected to rise in the 2018 midterm elections. The campaign welcomes the involvement of imams, rabbis, and other faith leaders.
At What Cost to Our Soul?
Sojourners is encouraging more communities of faith to hold vigils around the country. We are calling on clergy, faith-based organizations, and Christians everywhere to lift up prayers and candles as a recommitment to the light that can hold back these dark times.
A Sojourners Homecoming
Here at Sojourners, we are excited to share that Rev. Adam Taylor has returned to the organization to serve as Executive Director. Both Adam and Sojourners Founder Jim Wallis shared some reflections on this transition in a recent columnwelcoming Adam back, and we also wanted Adam to offer a few words with you, our beloved community of supporters.
"Cautious Optimism" in South Africa
THE LONG-OVERDUE transition of power in South Africa this winter, from President Jacob Zuma to Cyril Ramaphosa, has sparked a resurgence of hope among younger church activists in the country. Zuma’s nine years in office were catastrophic to South Africa’s politics and social fabric through entrenched corruption and state capture. Zuma and his cronies enriched themselves while the economy stumbled, with unemployment now above 27 percent and schools and health care in an increasing state of crisis.
While Ramaphosa’s election by the National Assembly has inspired hope, an awakening less heralded and potentially more significant long term has been taking place across the church in South Africa. The theology of hope and liberation that helped fuel the anti-apartheid struggle played a formative role in shaping the public theology of many in the U.S. and around the world. Now a new generation of South African Christian activists is on the cutting edge of social transformation.
In the aftermath of Zuma’s resignation, a handful of these leaders addressed the catalytic role the church has played in shifting the political winds in South Africa and their hope for the future.
Another Sojourn: The Work Ahead
I return to Sojourners — nearly a decade since I served as the Senior Political Director, and after a great deal of prayerful discernment — inspired by the courage and boldness of a new generation of young activists. The protests and activism of the Black Lives Matter movement has forced the issue of racialized policing and police violence onto the public agenda. Student survivors of the horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this past Ash Wednesday continue to speak out with such moral clarity about the need to address the fraudulent and pernicious state of gun violence in our nation. Dreamers are reframing the narrative and debate around immigration with their personal testimonies and bold advocacy to expand opportunity and justice, not simply for themselves but for all immigrants in this nation.
How Would Jesus Respond to Famine?
Buried beneath daily headlines dominated over the past year by the Russia investigation, Brexit, and the impasse over health care lies an escalating humanitarian crisis that should be breaking our hearts and assaulting our consciences: More than 20 million people’s lives hang in the balance due to a mounting famine in Yemen, South Sudan, northern Nigeria, and Somalia.
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