Oct. 12, 2022

Churches prepare for weekend of prayer and action against hunger

Churches across the world are preparing for a weekend of prayer and action against hunger on 15-16 October.
Prayer during the Week of Prayer  at the Ecumenical Centre Chapel.Photo:Ivars Kupcis/WCC
12 October 2022

The special weekend coincides with World Food Day, observed 16 October this year, and the Churches’ Week of Action on Food.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is providing prayers and resources that include local and national opportunities to engage in prayer and action.

The prayers focus on the invitation from Jesus to follow him: “Feed my sheep.”

The reflections offer the assurance that God sees, knows. and hears the cry of each person experiencing hunger in the world today. The prayers also invite us to ensure that the daily needs of all people can be met.

WCC deputy general secretary Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri said that churches not only hold the power of prayer but are capable of taking action that will profoundly improve the lives of children who are in danger of going hungry.

“Preventing hunger and working for economic and climate justice go hand-and-hand as churches advocate, act, and pray,” said Phiri. “We can all be a catalyst for change at the local, regional, and global levels.”

Across the globe, up to 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021. The number has grown by about 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conflict and violence, inequality, and the impacts of climate change have left them even further behind.

Healthy diets are unaffordable for almost 3.1 billion people (40% of the world's population). More than 41 million people–around half of them children–are at risk of falling into famine in 43 countries. Food prices have also increased in the past year due to bottlenecks in supply chains, soaring transport costs and other disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, the war in Ukraine, involving two of the biggest producers in agriculture and staple cereals globally, is disrupting supply chains and further affecting global grain, fertiliser, and energy prices, leading to shortages and fuelling even higher food price inflation.

But if we share this burden, God gives us hope and courage for being part of a global transformation. The Weekend of prayer & action against hunger is a vital opportunity to mobilise ourselves, our congregations, churches and communities to overcome hunger in our different contexts, appreciating and contributing to the local church  and  church related organisations in their good work. So let us pray, do justice and act, to feed the hungry and serve the needy as we follow Jesus.

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