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Persons of faith promise to advocate the end of hunger

Washington, D.C. June 7, 2005—With fervor and conviction, religious leaders from Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Muslim, Sikh and Buddhist traditions, urged more than 1,000 participants in yesterday’s first Interfaith Convocation on Hunger at the Washington National Cathedral to advocate for the end of hunger in the United States and abroad. 

“There is a new day dawning in this country. God has made it possible in our time for us to end hunger,” declared The Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, which is one of the sponsors for the “Hunger No More” event. “This is an age old dream but it is also an urgent opportunity,” he said. 

In his keynote address, The Most Rev. Njongonkulu W.H. Ndungane, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, called on people of faith to speak loudly and clearly to end hunger with the goal of food for everyone being a human right.  

“We must put all our weight behind the growing momentum for change,” said Bishop Ndungane “Now is the time…we have an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference.” 

Bishop Ndungane, left,  also questioned the increasing number of hungry people in the world while the world economy continues to grow. Calling this phenomenon a matter of political will rather than lack of resources, he urged participants not to allow politicians to “escape” without doing something to end hunger. 

National Council of Churches’ General Secretary Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar, Associate General Secretary for Justice & Advocacy Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell and Church World Service Executive Director Rev. Dr. John McCullough, were among the national and international religious leaders who gathered for the event as were leaders of several NCC member denominations including: Bishop George Walker, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; Bishop Mark Hanson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Jim Winkler, General Board of Church & Society, United Methodist Church; Dr. William Hobgood, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Bishop Vicken Aykazian, Armenian Church of America; The Most Rev. Frank Griswold, The Episcopal Church; Rev. Dr. Cliff Kirkpatrick, Presbyterian Church (USA); Dr. Stanley J. Noffsinger, General Secretary, Church of the Brethren General Board; Rev. Dr.Stephen Thurston, National Baptist Convention of America; Bishop Lawrence Reddick, III, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; Rev. Dr. John H. Thomas, United Church of Christ; Rev. Dr. Stan Hastey, Alliance of Baptists; and, Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, Reformed Church in America. 

"We cannot be at peace until all of our brothers and sisters in the United States and around the world hunger no more,” Edgar declared.

Pictures courtesy of Bread for the World/Rick Reinhard. Top right, opening ceremonies. Above left, Bishop Ndungane. Right, Bishop Vicken Aykazian, Armenian Church in America, and Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary, National Council of Churches. Left, Ms. Kim, Dr. Saunders, Bread for the World President David Beckmann, Cardinal McCarrick, Dr. Chane, Bishop Griswold.

Contact: Leslie Tune, NCC News, (202) 544-2350



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