Millions to Stand Up, Set World Record against Poverty

NEW YORK – Millions of people around the world and in New York will “stand up” together on Sunday, Oct. 15, in an effort to set an official Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people to stand up against poverty and for the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The signature event will be held at 6 p.m. in New York’s Time Square, where the famous New Year’s Eve ball will make its first-ever non-holiday appearance to lead the crowd in standing against poverty.

Similar gatherings are planned in dozens of other countries, including Sierra Leonne, where 300,000 people are expected to “Stand Up” against poverty during church services and attend a football match in the National practice stadium for the cause.

According to Micah Challenge, an evangelical anti-poverty initiative organized by the World Evangelical Alliance and Micah Network that works closely with the UN Millennium Campaign, celebrations are planned in 20 countries for “Micah Sunday” on the same day. Micah Sunday is an annual effort by Micah Challenge to mobilize churches and Christians against poverty through unified gestures.

“Christ taught us that finding justice takes passion and persistence,” said Michael Smitheram, the International Director for Micah Challenge. “Each year, Micah Sunday shows political leaders that Christians are passionate and persistent about achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

“This year we're sending that message and we're preparing churches to campaign for the MDGs at 'half-time' in 2007,” he added in reference to the midpoint between the year 2000 when the MDG commitment began and the 2015 goal.

Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance, explained that Micah Sunday is an important symbolic day to stand with those who are impacted by the ravages of extreme poverty.

“It is a time to deepen our own involvement with the poor and reminding governments of their promises of reducing poverty in the world,” said Tunnicliffe. “I urge all Churches to participate in this event.”

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