Christian Leaders, CNN to Question Clinton, Obama and Edwards

( [email protected] ) May 29, 2007 04:46 AM EDT

WASHINGTON – Top democratic presidential candidates will take the stage to discuss the issues of faith, morals and poverty starting this coming weekend.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and former Sen. John Edwards will participate in the nationally televised “Pentecost 2007: Taking the Vision to the Streets” forum that will be held June 3-6.

The forum, sponsored by Sojourners/Call to Renewal, will take place on the campus of The George Washington University with parts of the event hosted at National City Christian Church in Washington. Sojourners founder Jim Wallis, CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, and nationally prominent religious leaders will ask questions of the candidates.

“The goal of ‘Pentecost 2007: Taking Vision to the Streets’ is to call individuals, churches, and most importantly, our political leaders to commit to putting poverty at the top of our national agenda,” organizers state in the event website. “We believe that the conversation about moral values in America has been widening and deepening, building into a movement for real change.”

Other activities scheduled during the event include a march to Capitol Hill on June 5 to press for the eradication of poverty, visits to state delegations and both majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate.

The forum next week is the first of two upcoming forums with presidential hopefuls. A similar second forum that will feature top Republican contenders is to take place in Iowa in September.

CNN will serve as the exclusive broadcaster of the presidential candidate forum on faith, values and politics during the Sojourners “Pentecost 2007” conference. CNN’s Soledad O’Brien will moderate the forum.

Sojourners is the largest network of progressive Christians in the nation. The ministry publishes Sojourners magazine and is the sponsor of the 10th annual Pentecost conference, which aims to mobilize faith-based community leaders and clergy.

Co-sponsors of the event include Catholics In Alliance for the Common Good, the ONE Campaign, Oxfam America and Eastern University.

“We are excited that the leading candidates will be meeting with faithful voters who are hungry for a real conversation about the big moral issues of our time,” said Wallis in a statement.

“The forum will focus on faith and values, with a special emphasis on poverty. This conversation will offer faithful voters insights into each candidate’s moral compass and help to guide their decisions as they consider the candidates running for president of the United States.”