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NCC President urges newly re-elected President Obama
to remember his promises to persons living in poverty

New York, November 7, 2012 – In the hours after U.S. voters gave President Obama a second four year term, the president of the National Council of Churches reminded Mr. Obama of his commitment to overcome poverty and pledged “our partnership … in efforts to adopt and implement bold policies that will provide ‘for the least of these’ (Matthew 25).”

NCC President Kathryn Lohre drafted the letter in the final days of the campaign at the request of Religion News Service. An identical message was drafted for the Republican candidate, Governor Mitt Romney, in the event he had prevailed as president-elect.

Noting that both major party candidates submitted video statements during the campaign to outline their plans for dealing with poverty, Lohre wrote, “We now join others in calling you to account for this commitment.” See


The video statements were requested by the Circle of Protection, a diverse group of evangelical, mainline Protestant, and Roman Catholic Christian organizations that work to protect government poverty programs from being reduced or cut. The NCC, through its Poverty Initiative, is a founding member of the Circle. See

The full text of Lohre’s message follows:

Dear President Obama:

As followers of Christ, we hope and work for a world in which people have nutritious food to eat, safe water to drink, affordable places to live, access to quality medical care, and opportunities for fulfilling work. Recent figures show that more than one in seven Americans (46.2 million people) – and one in five children – are living in poverty. Through the Circle of Protection, the National Council of Churches joined other Christians in calling for the candidates to go on record as to how they would address this crisis. Each candidate submitted a video statement, giving voice to his commitment to overcoming poverty. President Obama, we now join others in calling you to account for this commitment. We pledge our partnership to you and your administration in efforts to adopt and implement bold policies that will provide for “the least of these” (Matthew 25), addressing the root causes of poverty, and creating life-giving vocational opportunities. Eradicating poverty is a moral issue. As we join you in partnership, we will join you also in prayer. May God bless you and provide you with strength, wisdom, and courage as we seek together to become a nation where there truly is enough for all.

Kathryn M. Lohre
NCC President

 Lohre's statement is included in a story by Adelle M. Banks about the reaction of religious leaders to the election. Read it at

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 40 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 646-853-4212 (cell),


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