Abrahamic Faith Leaders Concur, Climate Change Must Be Addressed

Rabbi Warren Stone Co-Chair of the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care/ContributedChristian, Jewish and Muslim Abrahamic faith leaders concur as Rabbi Warren Stone shared: “Now is time for world leaders to act boldly to alleviate the challenges of climate change and help create a more sustainable world economy as we approach the World Economic Summit in Seoul, Korea and the UN Cancun Climate talks both in November following a failure in Copenhagen to take significant action. The United Nations and world leadership have failed to act to alleviate the ongoing dangers of climate change. This failure jeopardizes the global family.”

U.S. Embassy to the Vatican and Rome’s Gregorian Pontifical University recently sponsored a unique conference, “Building Bridges of Hope: Success Stories and Strategies for Interfaith Action.” The Conference brought together international faith leaders and activists from Christian, Jewish and Muslim perspectives. Three faith leaders spoke on caring for the environment. All three have been activists on environmental issues within their various faith communities: Washington D.C. Jewish activist,  Stone, co-chair of the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care and founding chair of the Central Conference of American Rabbi’s Environmental Committee; Father Joseph Rozansky, Director of the Franciscan Office for Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation, based in Rome; and Mr. Fazlun Khalid, representing the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and the Environment, based in the United Kingdom. These faith leaders concurred that world leadership has not done nearly enough. For more information on the conference go to to http://vatican.usembassy.gov/missionroot/events/2010/Interfaith/

Fr. Joseph George Rozansky, director of the Rome’s Franciscan Office for Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation, spoke out:

“The message of Jesus invites us to be concerned with building the Kingdom of God in our midst. It is a Kingdom of justice, peace, love and truth. It should be characterized by harmonious relationships between God and all created beings, between created beings themselves, and between created beings and the world in which they live. The current state of the planet speaks of broken relationships, and of an unprecedented ecological crisis, much of it due to global climate change. The great faith traditions of the world are united in their call to everyone to respond to this situation. They issue a special call to world leaders to make the environment and climate change important priorities, especially in view of increasingly frequent and destructive “natural” disasters. God has made us the stewards of the earth; we must discover effective and urgent avenues of action to repair the damage that has been done to our common home. Failure to act now will jeopardize the future of our world for ages to come.”

Fazlun M. Khalid, founder and director of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science affirmed:

“Moderating our behavior is what climate change is about, and we call upon rich nations particularly to give the lead by tightening their belts so that those less fortunate could loosen theirs ever so gently. As members of faith communities, we recognize that there is no gain without pain, and we call upon world leaders to wake up to the teachings of their respective faiths and join forces with other like-minded people to leave a livable planet for our children.”

Stone who served as a UN Jewish delegate at the UN Kyoto and Copenhagen Climate talks and will soon participate in a world religious forum in Seoul, Korea sponsored by the Global Peace Initiative of Women during the Economic Summit of World Leaders posited:

“For all of us, impoverished and comfortable alike, our future will be tied to the scarcity of fresh water and food, as our glaciers melt and water sources, including the Jordan River in our holy lands which has been diminished. Who is responsible for responding to these threats to our environment? We may believe that our political leaders and bodies, which came together at the United Nations in Kyoto and Copenhagen and which will meet again in Cancun, or our individual nations’ leaders and lawmakers will have the political will to solve these issues. Others put the burden on our scientists and particularly, our environmentalists. But climate change and the despoliation of our earth and its limited resources are the most urgent moral and spiritual issues for all of us, and we are going to have to be active instruments for driving the necessary changes. In this regard, people of our faith traditions have a great deal to say. Our futures and the futures of our families are at stake. People of faith around our world number in the billions. We are the largest constituency of any nation of our world. The opportunity to be heard is greater than in previous decades, and we have a prophetic responsibility to seize it. There is so much that each of us can and must do, within our own homes, congregations, and countries, and beyond, as we work together as a global family in common cause, to preserve and sanctity life.”

These Abrahamic faith leaders call upon not only world leaders but people of all disciplines, be they diplomats, political leaders, scientists, environmentalists, engineers, architects, writers, educators, artists, poets and journalists to create lives that changes hearts and minds and helps to refocus us on sustainable living and a culture of meaning, not possessing.

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