Christ has Risen!
This period between Easter and the Ascension is one of the most significant times in the church calendar. It is a period of 40 days after his resurrection, when Jesus lived among the people, continuing his ministry, restoring and nourishing hope and giving life with dignity. It is also a period, when, as people of faith, we are obliged to turn our attention, prayerfully and with dedication, to the most crying needs in our society.
Currently, more people face famine today than any time in modern history. Famine has been declared in South Sudan. Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen are on the brink of famine. Globally, more than 20 million people are at risk of starvation, while millions more suffer from drought and food shortages. In this desperate situation children suffer most and become increasingly vulnerable. The UN is calling this the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945.
There is great danger that on its current course, the global response to this crisis will be hugely inadequate and will lead to unimaginable suffering and death, which is eminently avoidable.
We believe the churches have a prophetic role in calling to mobilizing their members, the wider society and governments, and making a difference during this unprecedented period of suffering.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35.
“So God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
We are not only called to respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers in dire situations in a compassionate, timely and sufficient manner. We are also commanded to see the divine in those who are suffering and to appreciate their resilience, opinions, and solutions and to respect their dignity as we respond. May our prayers invoke the grace of God, and mobilize people to bring about peace and an end to hunger and violence!
The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the All Africa Conference of Churches, along with church-related networks and organizations and partners, are promoting the 21 May 2017 to be observed as a ‘Global Day of Prayer to End Famine’ in faith congregations worldwide. We plan to announce this date on 2 May and are inviting church-related networks and organizations and partners to join us and advocate this date to mobilize people of faith. Kindly see the details on how you can join us in this important endeavor, as part of our Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace, below.
May God bless you!
Rev. Dr. Olav Fyske Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
Rev. Dr. André Karamaga, General Secretary, All Africa Council of Churches
If you are interested, or wish to join this effort, please complete the online form at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D3WJ7Q3
We are looking for commitments by 28 April. By joining, you are agreeing to list your organisation in the coalition calling for a Day of Prayer. We hope that this commitment will also include your organisation mobilising faith communities and people of faith to pray and respond on 21 May.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have. We will also be holding webinars (dates and times to be announced early next week) to discuss further and share messaging.
Dr Manoj Kurian Coordinator, WCC- Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance