Bread for the World released Tuesday morning, Sept. 22, a statement signed by Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders urging a broad commitment, transcending religious and political differences, to end hunger by 2030.
Sixty-seven faith leaders signed the statement.
Catholic signatories included Bishop Denis Madden (Archdiocese of Baltimore), Sister Simone Campbell (executive director, NETWORK) and Bill O’Keefe (vice president, Catholic Relief Services).
Among the Baptist signatories were Robert Parham (executive director, Baptist Center for Ethics), Suzii Paynter (executive coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) and David Goatley (executive director, Lott Carey).
Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society and Sayyid Syeed of the Islamic Society of North America were among the Muslim signatories. Both were featured in “Different Books, Common Word,” EthicsDaily.com’s documentary on Baptist and Muslims.
Other signatories included Rabbi Steve Gutow (president, The Jewish Council for Public Affairs), John L. McCullough (president and CEO, Church World Service) and Warner H. Brown Jr. (president, Council of Bishops, United Methodist Church).
The statement’s release followed a Monday evening Interfaith Religious Leaders Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
During the summit, leaders from several traditions shared how people of faith can more fully and faithfully engage these issues.
Informal conversations about how faith influences responses to hunger and poverty were shared over a “family-style dinner.”
“U.S. faith communities are deeply engaged with many sisters and brothers who struggle with hunger and poverty,” the statement said. “Our experience of God’s mercy and compassion for all people moves us to engage in God’s work of overcoming hunger and human misery, and our sacred traditions include visions of the world transformed.”
The days following the interfaith summit contain two significant events.
First, the U.N. Sustainable Development Summit will take place from Sept. 25-27.
The proposed Sustainable Development Goals will be voted on during the meeting. Goal No. 1 is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere.” Goal No. 2 is to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.”
Second, Pope Francis is visiting the U.S. from Sept. 22-27.
He will meet with President Obama, speak to a joint session of Congress and address the U.N. General Assembly, among other appearances in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington.
“We gather in light of these important events,” the statement said, “to reflect from our own perspectives about hunger and poverty and to publicly commit ourselves – as leaders from across the religious spectrum – to help end hunger by 2030.
“People of goodwill can disagree about policy strategies. But ending hunger by 2030 seems unlikely unless we can achieve a shift in U.S. national priorities by 2017, so that our government helps to put our nation and the world on track toward ending hunger.”
Bread for the World has encouraged using the hashtag #EndHunger2030 when posting to social media about these events and initiatives.
The full statement with signatories is available here.