Wal-Mart has been confronted with a barrage of criticism from campaigners in the US who are calling for the retailer to change its corporate practices.

The company has been sent a letter signed by 131 evangelical leaders, The Baptist Center for Ethics and WakeUpWalMart.com.
The letter asked for fairer living wages, more generous health care benefits and places to work that "treat women with dignity and equality".

In addition, WakeUpWalMart.com has launched faith-based initiative called "America, Pray for Wal-Mart to Change", including a media campaign and TV advertisement.

The new TV ad, which will be running in over 25 states and 43 media markets across the country, accuses Wal-Mart of exploiting its workers and their families, stating: "Would Jesus shop at Wal-Mart? Should you?"

WakeUpWalMart.com said in a statement: "Wal-Mart has repeatedly broken child labour laws, is being sued for gender discrimination, and leaves over half of their employees and families without company health coverage."

Supporters of WakeUpWalMart.com are also holding local candlelight vigils and a day of prayer at Wal-Mart stores in over 40 US cities and 24 different states, including Florida, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi and Missouri. They will be distributing over 120,000 flyers to consumers across the country.

The company has also been urged by some liberal Christians today (14 December) to shelve the violent computer game Left Behind: Eternal Forces.

Wal-Mart was unavailable for comment when contacted by just-food today.