WEA, Global Faith Leaders and World Bank Issue Call and Commitment to End Extreme Poverty by 2030

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“Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative” 

New York, NY - April 8

The World Evangelical Alliance along with over 30 leaders from major world religions and heads of global faith-based organizations today launched a clarion call to action to end extreme poverty by 2030, a goal shared by the World Bank Group.

Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative notes that remarkable progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty. Over 25 years the world has gone from nearly 2 billion people to fewer than 1 billion living in extreme poverty. Now, for the first time in human history there exists both the capacity and moral responsibility to ensure that no one has to live in extreme poverty’s grip.

“We have ample evidence from the World Bank Group and others showing that we can now end extreme poverty within fifteen years,” the Moral Imperative statement notes. "In 2015, our governments will be deciding upon a new global sustainable development agenda that has the potential to build on our shared values to finish the urgent task of ending extreme poverty.”

“We in the faith community embrace this moral imperative because we share the belief that the moral test of our society is how the weakest and most vulnerable are faring. Our sacred texts also call us to combat injustice and uplift the poorest in our midst.”

The Moral Imperative statement seeks to generate the necessary social and political will by inspiring greater commitments from others to join in this cause, tapping into many of the shared convictions and beliefs that unify the world’s major religions around the call and responsibility to combat poverty.  

The announcement today from global faith leaders arose from the World Bank’s “Faith Based and Religious Leaders Roundtable” held on February 18, the first high-level meeting between World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and faith leaders.

Responding to the launch of the moral imperative, Kim said: “Faith leaders and the World Bank Group share a common goal – to realize a world free of extreme poverty in just 15 years. The moral imperative can help drive the movement to end poverty by 2030 by inspiring large communities to act now and to advocate for governments to do the same. These commitments from religious leaders come at just the right time – their actions can help hundreds of millions of people lift themselves out of poverty."

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) participated in the roundtable and endorses the document and its call to action.

Bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the WEA, said: “Among the WEA's constituency of some 600 million evangelicals, there are many who experience a poverty that is rooted in a world divided by unequal resources. Sitting at the table of the World Bank's initiative to end extreme poverty within fifteen years, the WEA applauds an ambition that is lived out by faith and determination. We pray that the prayers of people looking for freedom from poverty is heard through faith communities and the World Bank with a Godly conscience, skilled action and powerful impact.”

Endorsers are committed to galvanizing greater commitment and action from within the faith community globally and across every sector to end extreme poverty. 

The statement closes by framing the imperative in stark terms: “Poverty's imprisonment of more than a billion men, women and children must end. Now is the time to boldly act to free the next generation from extreme poverty’s grip.”

Download 'Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative'


MEDIA CONTACT: Timothy K. Goropevsek, [email protected], +1 212.233.3046 x149

Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving and representing more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to speak as a trusted voice, to equip members and leaders for global impact and to connect its members and others for common action in the furtherance of God’s reign. For more info e-mail at [email protected] or go to Worldea.org.