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ACTION ALERT

"Christ is just like the human body -- a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body... If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. You are the body of Christ and parts of each other"
1 Corinthians 12:12a, 26-27, CEB

Food distribution in Maiduguri
Food distribution in Maiduguri. Photo by Rev. Yuguda Mdurvwa, Nigeria Director of Disaster Ministry

Join us in supporting our Nigerian brothers and sisters by calling on Congress and the President to prioritize famine relief and an ongoing humanitarian approach Northeast Nigeria!

As the imminent danger of Boko Haram decreases, EYN members and other displaced persons begin to return home. As we join in their celebration we also acknowledge that this is just the beginning of the journey of rebuilding.

The president of Kulp Bible College (EYN seminary) reports that due to inflation, disruptions in farming, and an inadequate humanitarian response, many are struggling to get enough food for their families. UNICEF reports that in Borno state alone, where many EYN members are located, "there’s 244,000 children who will suffer this year from severe acute malnutrition." Former Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell is saying that "this [famine] may be the worst we’ve seen."

Congressional offices rarely hear from their constituents in regards to Nigeria and this crisis is not on their radar. Our long-standing relationship with brothers and sisters of EYN gives all of us a very important voice on this issue to which offices are quite receptive.

As Thanksgiving approaches, it is important for the Church of the Brethren to raise the profile of this crisis, showing love and support for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

To learn more about the crisis check out this Brethren news report and read the statement put out by the Nigeria Working Group (PDF).

Make a phone call or write a letter to your representatives using the following template for inspiration.

You can look up your legislators here: http://www.brethren.org/publicwitness/legislator-lookup.html

Hello,

I am _______ from ________ and a member of the Church of the Brethren. I am calling because I deeply feel for my brothers and sisters in Nigeria and am highly concerned by recent reports of food insecurity and military abuses of women and girls in the Northeast.

The Church of the Brethren, has been in Nigeria since the early 1920s with now more than a million members in the Northeast and have contributed nearly 5 million dollars to fund crisis response projects. As the immediate danger of Boko Haram decreases, Nigerian Brethren and other displaced persons begin to return home. As we join in their celebration we also acknowledge that this is just the beginning of the journey of rebuilding.

Nigerian Brethren are reporting food prices that are too high for the average person, years where no one has been able to farm due to insecurity and displacement. They ask us to pass on to you that "people are starving especially in the North. Livelihood is so tough. Most IDPs especially Christian ones are not cared for. [You] should do something to save the situation."

I want to ask you and the Congressperson:

Why isn’t the United States government doing more to address the food crisis in the Northeast?

Why isn’t the US government putting more focus on humanitarian approaches to peacebuilding in the region?

I would be interested in talking about this further with one of your staffers that works on these issues. My phone number is: ____ My address is: _________ My email address is: _______

In Christ's peace,

Sara White
Policy intern
Church of the Brethren, Office of Public Witness
Washington, D.C.


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For more information about the public witness ministries of the Church of the Brethren, contact Nathan Hosler, Director, Office of Public Witness:

Nathan Hosler
337 North Carolina Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
nhosler@brethren.org
717-333-1649

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Church of the Brethren Action Alerts are a ministry of the denomination's Global Mission and Service and Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. Contact Global Mission and Service at the Church of the Brethren General Offices, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 or mission@brethren.org.

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