In Washington on Monday, leaders of the U.S. evangelical movement joined forces with moderate and liberal religious groups urged President Bush to consider pushing forward with the developments in Africa and to address this issue at the upcoming G8 meeting.
The intention to aid Africa is there, but Christian groups, such as Evangelicals for Social Action, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church, Bread of the World, and World Vision U.S., want a decisive decision.
By becoming more involved, evangelical leaders have high hopes that they can convince the President to address the problems in Africa at next week’s G8 summit of the world’s wealthiest nations in Gleneagles, Scotland.
The vice president of the National Assn. of Evangelicals, Richard Cizik wants the Bush administration to improve the “good record” in Africa to “a great record,” with this comment he said, “We are lending our voice to this cause in a way never before done.”
The Bush administration is in the process of proposing increases on top of the $3 billion dollars a year he has already sent in aiding Africa, but active Christian groups want him to commit to an additional amount of $2 to 3 billion dollars annually.
British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, leader of this year's G8 summit, is pressuring Pres. Bush and other G8 nations to consider doubling the international aid to Africa to about 50 billion a year by 2010.
Religious leaders are confident that their involvement can shape the decision made by a president who regards evangelicals as important for his political foundation. The argument where Christians can have a say on the nation’s problems, Cizik replied, is plausible for evangelicals who are “now shaping a national purpose and public interest in the cause.”
From an inside tip, Cizik and other religious leaders heard that the Bush administration wants to eradicate the poverty in Africa, however, no official plan was made.