With drought causing suffering across Africa, The Salvation Army is engaged in practical responses and is also calling on Salvationists and friends to support a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine. This special focus, on Sunday, May 21, 2017, is supported by churches and groups including World Vision, the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance.
Famine has been declared in areas of South Sudan, with Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen on the brink of famine. More than 20 million people are at risk of starvation in these four countries alone, but The Salvation Army knows through its relief work in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and other countries that the problem is far more widespread. Globally, millions more suffer from drought and food shortages.
The United Nations is calling this the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945 and reports that more people face famine today than at any time in modern history. Yet the simple truth is that famines are mostly preventable, being the result of conflict, drought, poverty and global inaction. Churches have a prophetic role in calling their members, wider society and governments to make a difference during this unprecedented period of suffering. If every member of the 70-plus international and national groups and churches responded to the call to prayer, more than a billion Christians would be praying for an end to famine.
The initiative has a simple message: Food is more than a human right; it is a divine gift that cannot be impeded.
World leader of The Salvation Army, General André Cox, is mindful of the ‘staggering proportions’ of the unfolding disaster. He calls on Salvationists and friends to respond ‘through our actions, not just our words’, saying: ‘We might feel a sense of powerlessness by a pending disaster of this magnitude and yet our faith in God should drive us to more than thoughts of compassion.’
On Sunday, May 21, all Salvation Army corps (churches), centers, groups, individuals and friends are encouraged to join together across countries, languages and traditions to respond to the global hunger crisis, in their prayers and through their actions. Prayers can also be shared on social media, using the hashtag #praytoendfamine.
Downloadable resources are available online at sar.my/endfamine and via The Salvation Army’s international Facebook page at sar.my/facebook.