Evangelicals Urge More

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President Bush should adopt an aggressive policy—guided by faith, not politics—to end the violence in Sudan’s western Darfur region, prominent evangelical leaders say.

International and domestic politics have deterred Bush and other world leaders from ending the killings in Darfur, said Rev. Jim Wallis, head of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, a Washington-based progressive Christian network.

When government fails to stop slaughter, “people need to step in and say we must be dictated by our conscience,” Wallis said.

The group asked that Bush push for a United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur, even if Sudan’s government continues to object to an international peacekeeping force.

Wallis was joined by four other prominent evangelicals, including Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals; Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Jr., head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; and Rev. Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director of the World Evangelical Alliance.

An estimated 400,000 people have been killed, and more than 2.5 million displaced, in the Sudanese government’s bloody campaign against civilians suspected of affiliation with Darfur rebels. Fighting has recently spread to nearby Chad, where 100 people were killed and 300,000 people displaced.

Wallis said the situation in Darfur has reached the point where Bush and other Americans must be willing to override Sudanese authority for the sake of ending the killings. Allowing the violence to continue would serve to give the green light for dictators in other countries to engage in genocide, he said. (RNS)

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