Political Leaders Urged to Protect the Poor

LOS ANGELES, CA (July 25, 2011) – Three Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) ministers participated in Bread for the World’s press conference last week in Los Angeles calling on political leaders to form a “Circle of Protection” around the poor.

The anti-hunger organization says the event drew more than five million media hits from multiple national and local news outlets. Covenant ministers participating were Abraham Bejarano, pastor of Emmanuel Covenant Church in Northridge; Margarita Monsalve, pastor of Navegando con Jesus Covenant Church; and Walter Contreras, director of outreach and Hispanic church planting for the Pacific Southwest Conference.

The event was part of a national ecumenical campaign to make sure the most needy people in the country are not adversely affected by proposed government budget cuts. A Circle of Protection statement was released earlier this year.

ECC President Gary Walter is a signatory to the document, as are other evangelical leaders including Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals; Richard Stearns, president of World Vision United States; William A. Roberts, national commander of The Salvation Army; and Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners.

Click here to view the statement and the list of signers.

The document reads in part, “As Christians, we believe the moral measure of the debate is how the most poor and vulnerable people fare. We look at every budget proposal from the bottom up – how it treats those Jesus called “the least of these” (Matthew 25:45). They do not have powerful lobbies, but they have the most compelling claim on our consciences and common resources. The Christian community has an obligation to help them be heard, to join with others to insist that programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world are protected.”

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  1. “The Christian community has an obligation to help them be heard, to join with others to insist that programs that serve the most vulnerable. . .are protected.” I’m gratified that Pastors Bejarano, Monsalve, and Contreras have taken a courageous step forward in fulfilling the commitment to advocacy for the poor. I’m delighted, too, to see President Walters name signed to the Circle of Protection declaration. May their leadership direct many others toward advocacy for those who have no voice in the current frenzy to cut budgets. 

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