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Churches Invited to ‘Stand Up’ for Poverty

People in more than 100 countries will take part this Sunday in an effort to set an official Guinness World Record by symbolically standing up against poverty.

The challenge, initiated by the United Nations, will draw attention to Millennium Development Goals that aim to reduce global poverty by half by 2015.

The challenge can be done either in a special or existing event. It involves a leader giving a brief explanation of the Stand Up initiative, asking the group to count down from 10 to zero and then all at the same time stand for one minute. During the minute a designated reader will read a pledge on behalf of those who are gathered. The announcer will then publicly state the number of people in the gathering who stood.

In order to count toward the world record, the numbers must be reported by 10 a.m. GMT Oct. 16.

Stand Up Against Poverty coincides with other anti-poverty campaigns, including Micah Sunday, a campaign to mobilize Christians to hold their governments accountable for keeping their promise to reach the Millennium Development Goals.

Groups supporting the Micah Challenge include the Baptist World Alliance. The Baptist Center for Ethics supports it in a pastoral letter than Baptist ministers can sign online. The Micah Challenge is also featured in a DVD/study guide produced by the BCE, “Always … Therefore: The Church’s Challenge of Global Poverty.”