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Americans asked to fast to protest budget cutscomment (0)

April 14, 2011

A diverse coalition of religious leaders from Bread for the World, World Vision, Mercy Corps, Sojourners, the ONE Campaign and the Alliance to End Hunger is calling on Americans of good faith to fast and pray to protest proposed budget cuts that would jeopardize the poor, sick and hungry at home and abroad.

“What we’re doing is humbling ourselves before God and saying, ‘I can’t do this anymore and I need your help and I’m not going to let go until you do something,’” said Tony Hall, head of the Alliance to End Hunger and co-convener of the fasting effort known as Hunger Fast (www.hungerfast.org).

The proposed budget includes cuts to domestic spending of about $2.3 billion from affordable housing, $1.75 billion from job training, $1.3 billion from community health centers, $900 million from refugee programs and $390 million from low-income heating assistance.

The budget cuts, announced in mid-February to combat a staggering $1.3 trillion federal deficit, also call for slashing foreign aid by about $5 billion, including $450 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.

Hall, an evangelical, has two goals: a groundswell of Americans joining him in fasting and prayer to oppose cuts to domestic and foreign aid programs and a few Republican House members “[breaking] rank” and speaking out against the cuts precisely “because they are evangelicals ... because of their faith.”

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that evangelicals, more than any other group of Americans, are more likely to support cutting spending for foreign aid (unrelated to security interests) and programs for the unemployed.  (RNS)

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