press

WEA Head Calls Christians to Fight Poverty at End of Germany Visit

June 10, 2007

World Evangelical Alliance

Press Release

The head of the World Evangelical Alliance has concluded his weeklong visit to Germany with a challenge to Christians in the country to engage more with issues of poverty, particularly HIV and Aids.

Geoff Tunnicliffe made the appeal at Kirchentag, a massive five-day Christian exhibition and conference which has brought at least 100,000 Christians to Cologne in Germany.

During Kirchentag, the WEA head joined in a Micah Challenge event to highlight the reality of poverty in the developing world, led by youth from Hessen. Micah Challenge is the WEA-initiated movement of Christians around the world pressuring their governments to do everything they can to halve extreme poverty by 2015.

During his talk, Mr Tunnicliffe shared the vision of Micah Challenge with the audience as he challenged governments to keep their promises to the poor.

“We want to remind politicians that they have to keep their word by what they do,” he told the crowd. “When they promise to spend money, then we want them to commit to that promise and spend the money.”

He continued by issuing a call to individual Christians to fulfil their responsibility to the poor by supporting government leaders and working in tandem with them on poverty issues.

“The reality is that it is not only up to the governments. I have held too many babies who are dying because of Aids or because they are poor and I believe we have a deep responsibility as Christians to also commit to the poor,” he said.

“We are calling on churches worldwide to deepen their commitment to the poor. Governments can’t do it alone.”

In a Bible study led later by Mr Tunnicliffe, Christians were again encouraged to engage with the delivery of the Millennium Development Goals. “These promises reflect something of the heart of God,” he said.

Other distinguished speakers at Kirchentag included Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, head of the World Council of Churches.

On Friday night (9 June), Mr Tunnicliffe rounded off his trip to Germany with a reception in Cologne hosted by evangelicals from the German Christian Democrat Party. During the reception, Mr Tunnicliffe met senior church and government leaders, including Bishop Wolfgang Huber of the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) and Germany’s Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

Mr Tunnicliffe joined the reception as part of an ongoing effort within the German Evangelical Alliance to foster good relationships with other church and government leaders in the country.

Bishop Huber welcomed Mr Tunnicliffe’s visit to Germany saying it was a “very important time” for him to be in the country. The two now plan to meet again when Mr Tunnicliffe returns to Germany.

Mr Tunnicliffe was in Germany from 1 to 10 June.

Contact Information:

Marion Uzac, Press Secretary, E-mail: marion@worldevangelicalalliance.com

Sylvia Soon, Chief of Staff, E-mail: sylvia@worldevangelicalalliance.com

World Evangelical Alliance (WEA): World Evangelical Alliance is made up of 127 national evangelical alliances located in 7 regions and 104 associate member organizations. The vision of WEA is to extend the Kingdom of God by making disciples of all nations and by Christ-centered transformation within society. WEA exists to foster Christian unity, to provide an identity, voice and platform for the 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide.