RELIGION AND ECOLOGY

Quoting from The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale

Unprecedented Meeting of World Faith Leaders to take on Global Deforestation Monday, June 19, at the Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway

For the first time, leaders from many of the world’s religions will meet to discuss the spiritual and ethical responsibility they share to protect rainforests, one of the planet’s most vital life-support systems. Besieged by growing global demand for commodities, tropical rainforests are being cleared at a perilous rate, with an area the size of Austria chopped down each year.

The meeting, which will take place in the presence of His Majesty King Harald V of Norway, will discuss how to activate the collective moral influence of religious communities across the planet. Based on sheer numbers, they could prove decisive in protecting the world’s last standing rainforests.

See website http://fore.yale.edu/news/item/unprecedented-meeting-of-world-faith-leaders-to-take-on-global-defores/

Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish leaders were to participate (no mention of Mammon). Indonesia was to be represented by Abdon Nababan of AMAN.

In the background information reference is made to the Papal Encyclical Laudate Si, of 2015, where the link between environmental concerns and social justice is underlined. The event is probably unique, and a first in that not only religious leaders are participating, but also representatives of indigenous people who inhabit and guard the forests. The intention of the two-day discussions, after the inauguration ceremony on 19 June, is to prepare for a global summit in 2018.

More details here: http://fore.yale.edu/files/Interfaith_Rainforest_Initiative.pdf

(I am looking out for published proceedings of the event. – Although I cannot claim to be a very religious person, I appreciate the effort of Pope Francis to prepare Laudate Si. – When I searched the Bible for references to care and respect for Nature I did not find any, except in Genesis 1 “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” That was on the sixth day. Pope John Paul referred to this by saying: if God found it good we should also see it that way – and care for it. I am told that Al Quran contains much more of reference to our duties as steward.  – Having said this I must add that a bird singing his morning hymn makes me feel much closer to my Creator than any sermon by a preacher-man.)

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