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Sojourners

Founded by Jim Wallis, Sojourners is a Washington, DC-based Christian evangelical ministry professing a devotion to the pursuit of “social justice.” Believing that capitalism serves to “normalize poverty and segregate the world by class,” this organization views “gospel faith” as something that “transforms our economics … and provides a vision for social revolution.” According to Wallis, the world’s chief capitalist giant -- America -- is “the great power, the great seducer, the great captor and destroyer of human life, the great master of humanity and history in its totalitarian claims and designs.”


In the 1980s the Sojourners community actively embraced liberation theology, which teaches that the New Testament gospels can be properly understood only as calls for social activism, class struggle, and revolution aimed at overturning the existing capitalist order and installing, in its stead, a socialist utopia where today’s poor will unseat their “oppressors” and become liberated from their material (and, consequently, their spiritual) deprivations. Animated by this perspective, Sojourners rallied to the cause of communist regimes that had seized power, especially in Latin America, with the promise of bringing about the revolutionary restructuring of society. Particularly attractive for the ministry’s religious activists was the communist Sandinista regime that took control of Nicaragua in 1979.

On June 28, 2006, Barack Obama spoke at a Call to Renewal Conference sponsored by Sojourners. Among his comments were the following:

 

“After all, the problems of poverty and racism, the uninsured and the unemployed, are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect ten point plan. They are rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness -- in the imperfections of man….

“I think that we should put more of our tax dollars into educating poor girls and boys. I think that the work that Marian Wright Edelman has done all her life is absolutely how we should prioritize our resources in the wealthiest nation on earth….

“Moreover, given the increasing diversity of America's population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers….”

 

To view a comprehensive profile and numerous additional resources about Sojourners, click here.


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