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By Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service

The Interdenominational Theological Center, a consortium of African-American theological schools in Atlanta, has urged black churches to take proactive steps to address the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan.
“In light of our Christian prophetic heritage, we call upon you to join us in denouncing genocide and the sin of silence regarding genocide in Darfur or elsewhere,” reads an “Epistle to the Black Church on Darfur” released by the center in mid-April.
The statement asks that members of black churches and other “people of good will” petition the United Nations to call on Arab and Chinese governments, who have diplomatic or economic ties with the Sudanese government, to pressure the country to halt the genocide.
The statement also urges collective efforts to encourage the U.S. government to provide resources to the African continent that will sustain a workable peace-keeping operation.
It calls for churches “to pray for cessation of the oppression and restoration of humanity” and to set aside an upcoming Sunday to focus on Darfur.
The letter notes that there has been a faith-based coalition of black leaders addressing Sudan since the 1990s, but said greater efforts are needed.
“Indeed, the genocidal problems perpetuated on the people of Darfur have demonic staying power, and the efforts to bring justice to Darfur must be doubled,” reads the statement.
Copyright 2008 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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