The Micah Challenge has been developed by the Micah Network and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) in response to a groundswell among evangelical Christian churches wanting to contribute at all levels to the alleviation of poverty and to greater justice for poor communities.
In Canada, Micah Challenge was launched by The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada along with other networks and agencies.
Evangelical Christian organizations and local churches have made a major contribution to direct delivery of community development and relief programmes but have largely been invisible as a political force on poverty and justice issues. Notable exceptions are the role played by churches and church organizations worldwide, in the Jubilee 2000 debt campaign, and their growing involvement in the trade justice movement. In the economically poorer countries of the South, a number of church-based organizations have advocated successfully on human rights issues and for constitutional reform. However, these courageous stances taken by local and national churches, have seldom been linked across borders.
This is particularly true of evangelical churches and evangelical parts of the major Christian denominations. The WEA represents approximately 380 million evangelical Christians worldwide, many of whom are in the South. These tend to have very strong local roots and local accountability as a result of their decentralized and less hierarchical structures. However, they have also been less able, as a result, to develop multi-country campaigns on poverty issues.
The Micah Network is made up of 290 Christian-based community development agencies, also predominantly from the South. The Micah Network aims to empower this global community to become involved in advocacy for poor communities, from whom they come and with whom they work.