'Greed overshadowing promises to poor,' says evangelicals

Key evangelical Christian leaders have strongly endorsed the statements from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York by condemning what they term "the immorality of our greed fuelled economy".

The leaders spoke out after the Archbishop of Canterbury criticised the greed and lack of regulation that have led to the current global financial crisis, whilst the Archbishop of York asked why action for the poorest is deemed too expensive when hundreds of billions of dollars have been found to bail out troubled banks.

Rev Joel Edwards is International Director-Designate of Micah Challenge International, a global Christian campaign aiming to challenge international leaders to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and outgoing General Director of the Evangelical Alliance.

To coincide with the special UN session to discuss progress on the Millennium Development Goals on Thursday, Mr Edwards said: "Archbishop Sentamu's challenge goes to the heart of the issue. It's well known that our ability to deal effectively with human suffering and global poverty is little to do with our financial resources and everything to do with our political will.

"The current financial crisis has demonstrated not only the degree of our self-interest and human greed in the West, but also our abject reluctance to rise to the challenges of taking our promises seriously."

Dr R David Muir, Executive Director of Public Policy at the Evangelical Alliance said: "We live to consume and now our greed is consuming us; we are reaping the consequences of always wanting more. Our way of life is based on the assumption that there is always more money available, more money to buy more things."

He went on: "The current crisis points to the failure of the so-called 'invisible hand' of market capitalism, making it clear that tighter regulation of the financial markets is now the only way to curb the rampant greed and irresponsibility seen recently.

"Rather than supporting the institutionalisation of greed with vast public expenditure why can't we resist the urge for always wanting more and live within our means?"

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