Slogans, celebrities, politicians, and Christian activists are grabbing headlines globally this week in anticipation of the international Group of 8 meetings in Scotland.

The potent mix includes the heads of eight leading industrialized nations along with Live 8's Bob Geldof, U2's Bono, Jars of Clay, Kanye West, Rick Warren, Pat Robertson, and evangelical churchgoers.

Normally, the G8 summit elicits about as much evangelical interest as moss growing on trees. But this year evangelicals are joining the ranks of activists at the annual gathering, held this year in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Their shared goal is to change government policies that will save lives in Africa. A broad coalition of religious and political leaders has endorsed:

  • Doubling financial aid sent to the world's poorest countries.
  • Debt cancellation for the poorest nations.
  • Reform of trade laws so poor nations are not shut out of global markets.

Activists hope all these steps will result in new growth in African economies and that in turn will translate into fewer deaths from malaria, HIV/AIDS, and starvation.

ONE, the campaign "to make poverty history," has become the focal point of advocacy for the G8 meetings and includes leading evangelical groups, such as World Vision, Bread for the World, and World Concern.

ONE campaign leader Geldof helped organize the July 2 mega-rock concert series Live 8 to raise public awareness and sway the leaders of the G8 countries to make these policy reforms. Geldof in 1985 organized the historic Live Aid concert that raised funds to fight famine in Africa.

Geldof told CT that Africa's poverty and misery is "the great moral sorrow of our time." Many G8 leaders favor debt cancellation and significant increases in aid, but fewer leaders support ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.