Christian students around the world are committed to building “an economy of life” and are eager for the churches to join them, a leader in the World Christian Student Federation (WCSF) told the 220th General Assembly’s Ecumenical Breakfast gathering here today (July 4).

“Psalm 24 says that ‘the earth is Lord’s, the earth and all who dwell therein,’” said Luciano Kovacs, a Waldensian (the Protestant church of Italy) and North American regional director for the World Christian Student Federation. “But we’ve sold it to the highest bidder, placed it on the auction table for a few billionaires.”

Economic growth “has taken on a God-like identity,” Kovacs said, “and fossil fuels have become the economic temple of global commerce. This is perilous to the well-being of humanity, especially the impoverished.”

The WCSF, composed of Christian student groups from around the world, has been active in a program of the World Council of Churches called AGAPE, which is promoting “an alternative global development policy that integrates concerns for poverty, wealth and ecology.” Regional gatherings around the world over the last four years culminated last month in a Global Economic Forum on Poverty, Wealth and Ecology.

The forum produced a report that will be presented to the WCC’s Assembly in November 2013 in Busan, Korea. “The strategies include self-reflection and radical spiritual renewal leading to identification and solidarity with the impoverished of the world,” Kovacs said. “As people of faith, we believe the problems of injustice are ethical and spiritual, not economic and political.”

“Marginalized communities are crying out because time is ticking away,” he added. “We are addicted to economic models that are the antithesis of God’s justice, which is not a political system or a social gospel but THE gospel―the good news for the hungry is a piece of bread.”

The WCSF “is committed to advancing theology from the margins,” Kovacs said. “A church that is not committed to God’s justice is not really a church of Jesus Christ.”