WEA International Director, Geoff Tunnicliffe : Speech at Darfur Rally in Washington DC

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WEA International Director, Geoff Tunnicliffe : Speech at Darfur Rally in Washington DC :

Today I stand before representing a global network of 400 million evangelical Christians.

As evangelical Christians we are committed to obey the word of God as recorded in the Holy Scriptures. And the Scriptures make it very clear we must take a stand with those who are voiceless and powerless. Today we stand with the Darfur people and speak out loudly against the outrageous atrocities to which they are being subjected.

We call upon the 100’s of million evangelical Christians in the world to join with others across the globe in responding to the Biblical exhortation of Proverbs 31:8-9: Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

400,000 innocent men, women & children have died. More are dying each day. When will it stop? I have the same question as Professor Eric Reeves of Smith College who asked “Will this number be allowed to grow to half a million? To 800,000? To one million? Is there some ghastly, unarticulated threshold of human destruction that will finally supersede Khartoum ’s assertion of ‘national sovereignty?’”

Let me say it bluntly, the regime in Khartoum does not consider African Darfurians to be human beings. It is very clear that those in power in Khartoum intend to “empty” Darfur of its large non-Arab African population.

Nocholas Kristof in writing about this dreadful situation said “The present Western policy of playing down genocide and hoping it will peter out has proved to be bankrupt practically as well as morally… ignoring brutality has only magnified it. And it’s just shameful to pretend not to notice the terrified villagers here (in Chad_, huddling with their children each night and wondering when they are going to be massacred.”

This desperate situation will continue until governments show the political will to say enough is enough. We are not going to stand for these atrocities anymore. We are going to do more than speak! We are going to act!

Today the World Evangelical Alliance calls upon the government of the United States and other governments of the world to stop being bystanders and act quickly and decisively to end this 21st century travesty! Darfur is turning into the next . The world must step in to prevent another Genocide.

If 60 nations could send tens of thousands of peacemakers to Bosnia in the 1990’s we must do no less for Darfur .

In the book of Isaiah 58:6 we read: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke ?”

As Bono said recently, History, like God, is watching what we do.

My question is, what will God and History say we did about Darfur ?