For many decades the churches of all faiths have given serious thought and produced powerful statements supporting environmental action that placed the onus on individuals and governments to address related issues of social justice, being good neighbours, saving the planet and changing lifestyles. The challenges have become more urgent and the voices of concern, protest and action become more shrill.
This is an issue that unites all sectors of faith – evangelicals to progressives – and there are many good examples of effective responses.
The Micah Challenge that grew following the year 2000, when Australia joined 188 nations in a historic and inspirational commitment to “spare no effort” to free men, women and children from abject poverty and achieve eight Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015, Micah Challenge began mobilising Christians to hold the Australian government to account for its promise to contribute our nation’s fair share towards these goals. The results speak for themselves.
The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change has played an important role in advocating and bringing all faiths together and share their responses to climate change. Major religions and denominations have made official statements that can be read at this site. A couple of the links are currently not live. It is worth noting that the Muslim Faith topped the leader board in the Clean Up Australia program with 1000 volunteers on 26 sites. The Islamic Declaration before the 2015 Paris Agreement was a very strong statement of responsibility and obligation.
Green Faith is an interfaith coalition for the environment that was founded in 1992. They work with houses of worship, religious schools and people of all faiths to help them become better environmental stewards.
They believe in addressing environmental issues holistically, and are committed to being a one-stop shop for the resources and tools religious institutions need to engage environmental issues and become religious-environmental leaders.
The Queensland Churches Environmental Network is a commission of the Queensland Churches Together facilitating the Church’s call to love and care for creation as a vital expression of faith. A major QCEN event was the meeting held in Toowoomba, titled ‘Impact of Mining on Rural Communities and the Environment’, where the conversation with several people from different parts of the Darling Downs was about the impact of mining on their communities and the environment. On Sunday 26th March QCEN is hosting a gathering on climate change in Brookfield (see previous post). Two recent QCEN reports are:
Ecology, War, and the Path of Reconciliation Clive W Ayre (Uniting Church) and
Green Churches: Ecology, Theology and Justice in Practice Coleen Geyer (Uniting Church)
The Uniting Church Assembly through Uniting Justice Australia has passed many resolutions related to the environment not the least being: For the sake of the planet and all its people which includes strategies for engaging congregations, individuals, communities and government in strategic and responsible action for the dealing with environment and climate issues.
We welcome other appropriate links to share with our members.