For Immediate Release
April 21, 2011
Contact Information

Racine Tucker-Hamilton (Bread for the World)
(202) 688-1138 office,
(301) 922-8417 cell,

Tim King (Sojourners)
(202) 631-7763,

Philip Jenks (National Council of Churches)
(212) 870-2228 (office),
(646) 853-4212 (cell)

Chris LaTondresse (Alliance to End Hunger)
(202) 368-0139,

(BPRW) Christian Opposition to Budget Cuts Grows

- Broad coalition announces "Circle of Protection" around programs for poor people -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – Washington, DC, April 21, 2011 – A diverse coalition of evangelical, Catholic, Methodist, mainline Protestant, African-American, and Latino Christian leaders will announce a new coalition to fight cuts to anti-poverty programs and congressional plans to make those cuts even deeper. A joint statement released by the coalition—and signed by 32 leaders—states:

“As Christian leaders, we are committed to fiscal responsibility and shared sacrifice. We are also committed to resist budget cuts that undermine the lives, dignity, and rights of poor and vulnerable people. Therefore, we join with others to form a Circle of Protection around programs that meet the essential needs of hungry and poor people at home and abroad.”

What: Teleconference to announce new Christian coalition, called the Circle of Protection, to fight congressional budget cuts for programs that serve vulnerable people.

When: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
9:30-10:30 a.m. EST- General Media:
Call 800-723-6575 Confirmation Code: 6720737

10:45-11:45 a.m. EST- Religious Media:
Call 888-576-4382 Confirmation Code: 8108082

1-2 p.m. EST- Spanish Language Media:
Call 888-240-9373 Confirmation Code: 7266807

Who: Speakers will include Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, National African American Clergy Network; Rev. David Beckmann, Bread for the World; Ambassador Tony Hall, Alliance to End Hunger; JimWallis, Sojourners; Andrea Cano, United Church of Christ.

Why: Congress will reconvene Monday, May 2, after a two-week recess. The FY 2012 budget and
raising the debt ceiling will top its agenda. In the meantime, a growing number in the Christian community believe that while we need to balance the budget, it must not be on the backs of poor people. A budget is a moral document, and a moral measure of any budget is how it affects poor people.

The FY 2011 budget agreement recently passed by Congress included steep cuts to domestic and foreign assistance programs that are vital to vulnerable people. A FY 2012 budget plan by the House Budget Committee Chairman proposes even deeper cuts. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, nearly two-thirds of those cuts are to programs that serve poor people.

Last month, more than 36,000 activists and 28 members of Congress protested the budget cuts by participating in a “hunger fast” that ended on Easter.

To read the Circle of Protection statement, the full list of signatories, and the programs included in the campaign, visit by April 27.