Obama must 'be more conscious' of global poor

The director of Christian anti-poverty movement Micah Challenge has called upon Barack Obama to do more to help the world's poor.

Joel Edwards was speaking as Micah Challenge launched a new nine-week course, The Jesus Agenda, to help Christians play their part in holding governments to the promises they made when they signed up to the Millennium Development Goals.

The course has received the backing of former prime minister Tony Blair, who said the Christian faith must inspire believers to take action to end poverty.

Speaking in a campaign video, Blair said Christians must advocate on behalf of the world's poorest people.

He said: "If our faith means anything to us. If we can see the inspiration of Christ in any real way, then how can we remain passive in what still remains a situation where hundreds of thousands of people, in fact millions of people die needlessly...

"We have to be out there helping… not just by bringing relief, but by changing the systems of governance that promote things like corruption."

The course is being run in collaboration with Christian Aid and Compassion.

Micah Challenge director Joel Edwards said: "If it is true that one in three people in the world are Christians then imagine what would happen if all of us who claim to follow Christ became passionate advocates of the Jesus agenda.

"God cares about the 950 million people going hungry every day and the 19 million under 5s who are at imminent risk of death from hunger.

"We are encouraged that Tony Blair and dozens of other world figures are on the same page on issues of justice for the poor.

"Our hope is that the newly elected American President will be even more conscious of the global poor in his second term."