SOURCE: Compassion International

June 23, 2008 13:07 ET

Compassion Asks for Prayer, Fasting for Global Food Crisis

Children's Ministry Dedicates Wednesday, June 25, to the Cause

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO--(Marketwire - June 23, 2008) - Compassion International, a leading Christian child development ministry, has asked its supporters in the United States to join in a day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday, June 25, for victims of the global food crisis.

United Nations officials have called the crisis a "silent tsunami" that could leave an additional 100 million people on every continent hungry. Prices for staples such as rice, wheat and beans have doubled in the last year. More than 800 million people are at risk of starvation.

"Prayer is the greatest action you can take in combating this unfortunate event," said Mark Hanlon, senior vice president, USA, at Compassion International. "Most people don't know what to do in the face of such a significant global crisis. We are encouraging people to start with prayer. That's why we're inviting all of our U.S. sponsors, donors, advocates and staff to ever so briefly and symbolically enter into the suffering of our brothers and sisters worldwide and join in on this corporate effort."

The global food crisis is forcing poor families to spend more of their household budgets on food, leaving little for anything else. Two Compassion countries have been particularly hard hit.

In Bangladesh, the crisis has affected more than 90 percent of the 12,179 children in 82 Compassion-assisted centers. Many children eat only at their church-based center.

Compassion Haiti estimates that it will need at least $2 million and as much as $6 million to feed 60,000 registered children and their families over the next few months.

To sign up to fast and pray on Wednesday, June 25, or for information on contributing to the Global Food Crisis Fund, people can visit Compassion online at compassion.com/pray or call (800) 336-7676, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT, Monday through Friday.

Compassion is one of the world's largest Christian child development organizations, working with more than 65 denominations and 4,500 indigenous church partners. It serves more than 1 million children in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Since 1952, Compassion has touched the lives of more than 1.8 million children and has been recognized for its financial integrity with top ratings and recommendations by several of the nation's leading not-for-profit "watchdog" organizations.

Note to Editors: For more information about Compassion International, please visit www.CompassionNews.com. To arrange an interview with Mark Hanlon, please contact Steve Yount of A. Larry Ross Communications at 972.267.1111 or steve@alarryross.com.

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