Washington, D.C. – At a press conference on Monday, March 28th, a large coalition
of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other advocacy organizations announced a broad based movement of fasting, prayer and advocacy, provoked by budget cuts proposed by Congress that would disproportionately hurt those living in poverty. “In 1993, as a Member of Congress, I went on a 22 day fast to protest the lack of conscience of the U.S. Congress towards poor and hungry people. Now, almost twenty years later, the stakes are even higher, with Congress proposing budget cuts that will hurt vulnerable people even more than the cuts provoking me to fasting and prayer two decades ago.” said Ambassador Tony Hall, announcing the beginning of a new fast. Along with Ambassador Hall, three other leaders—Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and Ritu Sharma, president of Women Thrive Worldwide—announced the beginning of their own fasts. They challenged people of faith and conscience to join them, pledging to put pressure on Congress to form a “circle of protection” around programs benefitting poor and hungry people.