"God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"—Micah 6:8
In recent decades, evangelical Christians have been known more for individual piety than for heeding the prophets call for justice for the needy. The Micah Challenge, a new worldwide coalition of evangelical churches and relief groups, aims to change that—and to seize todays unprecedented opportunity to put a serious dent in global poverty.
"The gospel has to be [lived] not just with personal commitment, but also social commitment," according to Micah Challenge co-chair Alfonso Wieland of Peru. "For the conservatives in the evangelical community, those issues of social justice are very unusual for them, so the approach for us is to develop biblical materials for those communities, trying to include that justice is from God."
The Micah Challenge is a joint project of the World Evangelical Alliance, which represents more than 3 million congregations around the world, and the Micah Network, a coalition of more than 270 Christian relief and development groups. Chapters have formed in Canada, India, Australia, the Andean region, Bangladesh, and the United Kingdom. More are forming; this spring in Washington, D.C., the National Association of Evangelicals will co-host a meeting to explore starting a U.S. chapter.
THE PROJECTS GOALS, summed up in its global petition, the Micah Call, are twofold: within the church, to deepen connections to and solidarity with the poor, and, in society at large, to call on national and international decision-makers to fight poverty.