WASHINGTON (November 14, 2000) -- An unprecedented gathering of religious leaders will voice their concerns about marriage and divorce in American society in a first of its kind "A Christian Declaration on Marriage." Bishop Kevin Mannoia, President of the National Association of Evangelicals, convened the task force that drafted the document. The task force also includes the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the National Council of Churches. Bishop Mannoia began the initial discussions by posing this question: "Is the rising divorce rate in America something about which we have common concern and can address together as Christians?"
The final document developed over the ensuing months laments that, "Our nation is threatened by a high divorce rate, a rise in cohabitation, a rise in non-marital births, a decline in the marriage rate, and a diminishing interest in and readiness for marrying, especially among young people. With three-quarters of marriages performed by clergy, churches are uniquely positioned not only to call America to a stronger commitment to this holy union but to provide practical ministries and influence for reversing the course of our culture."
Churches in every community are urged to join in developing policies and programs with concrete goals to reduce the divorce rate and increase the marriage rate. Further plans include a Summit of Church Leaders to heighten the priority of marriage and to mobilize local church participation.
Tuesday, November 14, 2000
Time: 2:00-2:30 PM
Holiday Inn on the Hill (Judicial Room)
414 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Bishop Kevin Mannoia, President, National Association of Evangelicals
Most Rev. Anthony O'Connell, Chairman, Committee on Marriage and Family Life, National Conference of Catholic Bishops
Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention