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New Urban Agenda gains Christian leaders support

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04 November 2016

Seeking the welfare of our cities (Jeremiah 29:7), Micah Global, ISUM and WEA took part in Habitat III. Together we affirm the UN’s New Urban Agenda and call all Christians to engage further.

Habitat III is a United Nations led process that included more than 100,000 participants over the last three years, culminating in the 15-20 October Quito Summit. Here, representatives from nations around the world, non-governmental organisations, civil society groups and faith groups gathered to affirm and commit to the New Urban Agenda for a more sustainable, just and inclusive urban world.

Known as Urban Shalom Project, Christian leaders from the World Evangelical Alliance Creation Care Task-force, Micah Global, International Society of Urban Mission (ISUM) and Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) came together for a special pre-conference Summit entitled ‘The Gospel and the Future of Cities’ before joining as stakeholders and participants in the Habitat III Summit, engaging in panel discussions, debates, networking and bridge building.

A highlight for the delegation was meeting with urban leaders from around the world and witnessing the New Urban Agenda (NUA) being adopted by all nations on the final day.

Dr. Chris Elisara, Co-Convener of Urban Shalom Project (USP) and Director of WEA Creation Care Taskforce, stated the following:

"We recognise that the NUA is the start, not the end, of the process for building sustainable, just, and livable cities for all. This is a significant step forward, but the most important steps are still before us, namely implementing the NUA. The Christian community around the world needs to be involved, and that is what the USP will be working toward, albeit from a distinctly Christian perspective and means.”

Dr. Ash Barker, Co-Convener of Urban Shalom Project and Director of Micah Global’s International Society for Urban Mission, said: "The world committing to the New Urban Agenda is so important because it recognises the real sustainability and inequality challenges we face as a planet and that cities are not just problems in this, but can become solutions if we work together. As Christians we affirm the New Urban Agenda and our faith calls us to go further.”

Sheryl Haw, International Director of Micah Global, sees Christians playing an integral part in implementing the NUA. She further comments, “The Bible starts in a garden and by Revelation we find ourselves in the City of God. We are called to seek the Shalom of the City, seeking to express God’s love, compassion and justice through practical and inclusive actions at both community level and local and national authority levels. We call and invite all Christians and local churches in and around our cities to actively engage in seeking the welfare and Shalom of their city."

For further information and evolving ways to engage in the New Urban Agenda, link up with the Urban Shalom Project and join the Call to Urban Action Campaign that will be launched in 2017.

Urban Shalom’s Facebook Page

UrbanShalomProject.org

Urban Shalom Project Co-conveners, Dr Chris Elisara and Dr Ash Barker (ash@NewbiginHouse.uk), are available for interview.