Saturday, September 10, 2005

Speaking Out on Darfur

One year ago, President Bush declared the killings in the Darfur region of Sudan to be "genocide". Since the Second World War, the use of the word "genocide" by government officials and international bodies has carried with it an obligation for those governments and international bodies to do something stop it.

Or, maybe not.

In the past year, the U.S's progress in Darfur has been roughly equal to what our government did the first few days after the hurricane - not much. If you need to get up to speed on Darfur, spend some time at the site of the Save Darfur Coalition, a truly bi-partisan group that has been trying to rally Western support for the people of this troubled region.

The Administration's "minimal progress protecting millions of victims of the world's worst humanitarian crisis" has been noted, I am very glad to say, in this official press release from Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. (Hat tip to The Revealer)

Cizik has some hard words for our President and about the remaining challenge in Darfur. He says, "It is time to move the Darfur genocide from a talking point to and action item. President Bush must put this issue on the top of his inbox".

I hope this helps. And I hope this will be a sign of greater political independence by "official" Evangelical groups. In recent years, we have largely been a reliable voice in favor of whatever the Republicans put forward, and this needs to stop. But it shouldn't be replaced by Christians becoming a equally reliable voice for the Democrats either. I long for the day when Christians can speak to our fellow citizens persuasively and prophetically, and in a way that cuts across the traditional party lines. Maybe Mr. Cizik's press release is a beginning.

But politics aside, pray for the people of Darfur, and for those who are trying to help them.

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