Church leaders get behind Make Poverty History campaign
Church leaders united yesterday behind MakePovertyHistory  - the campaign against global poverty and injustice.
The four presidents of Churches Together in England, the body which brings together 23 of the countryís churches and denominations, gave their joint backing to the campaign.
Their backing follows the involvement of leading Christian relief and development agencies  who were involved in setting the campaign up.
It also comes after hundreds of female clergy joined Dawn French  to deliver a white band card at No 10 Downing Street to show their support for the Make Poverty History campaign.
They church leaders called on the European Union to take the lead in a ìcrucialî year of trade negotiations, adding: ìIt can be a beacon of hope for the poorest countries and challenge others to follow its example.î
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy OíConnor, Revd David Coffey, Moderator of the Free Churches, and Revd Esme Beswick of the Joint Anglo-Caribbean Council of Churches, said they had been heartened by the response to the Asian tsunami disaster.
But they hoped that the compassion shown would now extend to addressing the challenge of the 30,000 preventable deaths daily around the world from poverty, hunger and disease.
With Britain assuming the presidency of the EU and chairing the G8 in 2005, the group said the country had a ìunique opportunityî to challenge the way the world lives and works.
ìWe hope and pray it will be grasped with energy and commitment,î they added.
They also called for the EU to continue to take practical steps to alleviate climate change
Make Poverty History brings together a cross-section of over 100 charities, campaigns, trade unions, faith groups and celebrities who are united by a common belief that 2005 offers a unprecedented opportunity for global change.