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World Vision President: Only Christianity can bring lasting humanitarian change

Fri 20 Jan 2017
By Aaron James

The president of the biggest children's charity in the world has exclusively told Premier we will never see permanent solutions to humanitarian crises until the Christian faith plays a greater role in fixing them.

World Vision International CEO Kevin Jenkins made the comments to Premier's Aaron James at a question and answer event at St Luke's church in Kentish Town, London.

The event came before Jenkins flew to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to chair the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith.

The working group has been urging governments, companies and other stakeholders to increase the role Christian and other faith-based organisations have in tackling humanitarian crises such as lack of food, water or sanitation, as well as civil wars, religious persecution or natural disasters.

Jenkins told Premier stakeholders are increasingly realising how much the world is changing and how much faith is driving some of those changes.

He argued those trends, coupled with growing corporate social responsibility, means faith-based organisations are more ready and needed than ever to bring permanent change to areas of crisis.

He said: "[I'm] trying to magnify the role that faith plays in our world but particularly in the world of development.

"We know that ultimately we don't have sustainable, lasting solutions if the Christian faith is not part of it.

"So to highlight and be a credible presence there in the midst of something that is pretty secular for the most part, is pretty important."

World Vision International
Kevin Jenkins working with street children in Afghanistan

 

World Vision International

 

Contextualising his comments, Jenkins explained how vital churches on the ground are in bringing lasting solutions to humanitarian crises around the world.

He told Premier: "Churches are our most important partner.

"Some of our best work has been working with church leaders on things like HIV/Aids, on things like 'what does it mean to be a family' or 'what does it mean to value children' - helping churches in certain countries and contexts talk about things that people don't speak about in their contexts.

"If you're going to be doing something sustainable, we're not going to be there forever. But the church is, so it's a very important partner for us."

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speaking to Kevin Jenkins:


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