Evangelical Leaders Gather to Call on President for More Support in Fighting Against AIDS

( [email protected] ) Jan 13, 2004 09:55 AM EST

Today, four major Evangelical leaders, including New York Times #1 best-selling author Dr. Bruce Wilkinson who wrote “The Prayer of Jabez,” will gather tomorrow at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. at 10 a.m. to call on President Bush for more financial support to enhance the global fight against AIDS in his State of the Union address and budget request for 2005, Compassion International reported.

Wilkinson will be joining with leaders of two of the world’s largest major Evangelical organizations, including World Vision’s director of public policy and advocacy, Serge Duss, Compassion International’s chief operation officer David Dahlin, and National Evangelical Association Vice President for Governmental Affairs Rev. Richard Cizik.

Wilkinson's group Global Vision Resources has reached out Africa to conduct seminars on AIDS and faith as well.

"As we approach the one-year anniversary of President Bush's $15 billion AIDS promise, we must keep in our hearts the 42 million people worldwide who are infected with HIV/AIDS," said Wilkinson. "We need to do everything possible to help alleviate the suffering of the world's poor."

It is said that the evangelical leaders successfully spread the 2003 Global AIDS Initiative, and raised fiscal year 2004 AIDS spending to $2.4 billion. The White House is expected to submit the 2005 budget to Congress early next month, but global AIDS spending is reported to be only $2.7 billion, far short of the $3.6 billion authorized by Congress.

"Private charities alone cannot win the war against global AIDS. The greater resources of government, provided in a timely manner, are critical if the world's most desperate people are to have hope for life and a productive future," said Serge Duss, director of public policy and advocacy for World Vision.

"While Compassion International witnesses first-hand the devastating consequences of AIDS for the world's children and families, we also witness the transformational power of Christians reaching out in love to help those who are suffering," said David Dahlin, chief operating officer of Compassion International, which currently serves more than 550,000 children in more than 20 countries. "This is something that can be done and must be done! We encourage the U.S. government to increase AIDS funding, and we issue a heartfelt plea to all Americans – individuals, organizations, and corporations – to answer the desperate call of our brothers and sisters in Africa affected by HIV/AIDS."

"The American Evangelical community is responding like never before to this international crisis," said the National Evangelical Association's Vice President for Governmental Affairs, Rev. Richard Cizik. "This is a huge issue for all people of faith. And although the U.S. under President Bush is the world's leader in responding to the AIDS emergency, the world needs even more leadership -- and resources this year."