More than100 Christian leaders, part of a group called “Circle of Protection,”  have joined together to ask the 2016 candidates for President of the United States whether ending hunger and poverty a top priority of his or her administration. Here’s the letter; you can review the names of those who signed here:

Dear [Nominee]:
It is now apparent that you will stand as the [Republican/Democratic] Party’s candidate for election to the office of President of the United States. The calling to public service is a sacred vocation,and we hold both you and [other nominee] in our prayers. We are leaders of Christian communions, organizations and schools who care deeply about hunger and poverty, and we are praying for a president who shares that concern. We write to request a meeting with you to discuss your plans for offering help and opportunity to hungry and poor people in the United States and around the world.

Our churches and organizations are deeply engaged with many of God’s children who work hard every day, but nonetheless struggle to make ends meet. Our own experience of God’s mercy and compassion in Jesus Christ moves us to engage in God’s work of overcoming human misery.

We pray that, as you seek the office of president, the plight of hungry and poor people – around the world and in our own nation has a strong claim on your attention. And we hope that you will share our vision of a world without hunger and poverty. We believe God’s promise to guide and strengthen those who seek to “satisfy the needs of the afflicted” (Isaiah 58:10-11), and we trust that this promise extends to you. Last September, the nations of the world committed themselves to Sustainable Development Goals that focus on ending poverty and hunger by 2030. Many of us joined Pope Francis in welcoming that commitment and praying for divine blessing on these efforts.

Progress against hunger and poverty will require action by all sectors of society and by all the nations of the world. Yet a shift in U.S. national priorities is an essential next step. People of goodwill can disagree about policy strategies, but little progress will be made unless our next president takes a strong leadership role in making that progress a priority.

We request an opportunity for a group of us to meet, talk, and pray with you as you pursue our nation’s highest office. We understand there are many demands on your time, but this is a conversation that you need to have. We will make every effort to accommodate your schedule, but we suggest that meeting in Dayton around the first presidential debate might be ideal. Please let us know with whom we should talk to make arrangements for a meeting.

Thank you for your willingness to serve our country. We will keep you in our prayers in the coming months.

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