Contact: World Council of Churches, +41-79-507-6363; www.oikoumene.org/press
GENEVE, May 19, 2017 /Standard Newswire/ -- As more people face famine today than any time in modern history, the World Council of Churches (WCC) together with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and a range of faith-based partners and networks invite a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on 21 May 2017, in response to the hunger crisis.
Photo: A girl carries water in a camp for over 5,000 internally displaced persons in an Episcopal Church compound in Wau, South Sudan. © ACT Alliance/ Paul Jeffrey
In a video message in preparation for the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on 21 May, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit described food as a "gift of God" that contributes to both our physical and spiritual sustenance.
"Food assists us to reflect the love and grace of God," Tveit said. "A gift that has to be shared unconditionally. Today, when the world produces enough food for all, we should not allow even one child, woman or man to go hungry."
Still, more than 20 million people are at risk of starvation, and millions more are suffering from drought and food shortages. Our world is experiencing the worst hunger crisis in modern history.
How do we respond to this crisis?
Each day, Tveit said, we pray the Lord’s prayer and we appeal to God to "give us this day our daily bread." It is a prayer for food and all that we need to be sustained as God's creation.
"We can extend this prayer to all of our sisters and brothers who are in need of food to sustain their lives," he said. "We can make a difference in this situation. Let us stand together and reflect. Let us pray and act to respond to this crisis."
Tveit urged churches, organizations and individuals to spend some time on 21 May to be still, receive the grace of God, and find solutions.
"The world as one family, praying and responding together, to end famine," he said, "to end violence and to bring peace. To ensure that there is sufficient and nutritious food for all, to live life to its fullest."
To encourage people of faith and good will around the world to observe the global day of prayer on 21 May, the WCC is making available a collection of liturgical resources, prayers, photos and suggested songs to be used in faith congregations worldwide.
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 348 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 550 million Christians in over 120 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway.