Evangelical organisations call for action to preserve biodiversity in the statement ‘Faith Call to Action for the UN Summit on Biodiversity’.
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), the Lausanne Creation Care Network (LWCNN) and A Rocha International, along with other global evangelical organisations, have issued the document ‘Faith Call to Action for the UN Summit on Biodiversity’.
The UN Summit on Biodiversity took place on September, 30. The signatores wanted summit participants and everyone to know that “action on biodiversity conservation is a task entrusted to all humanity regardless of how our beliefs and values differ in other areas”.
“God’s creation is suffering severe biodiversity loss, ecosystem destruction, and climate change. In solidarity with the global initiative to reverse the loss of biodiversity, the WEA calls for decisive action on these crises”, said Efaim Tendero, WEA’s secretary general and CEO.
According to Simon Stuart, the incoming executive director of A Rocha International, “the pain and sadness we feel over the decline and disappearance of some remarkable species, mirrors God’s pain which arises from his own deep love and care for all that he has made”.
“We felt it valuable to have an explicitly biblical rationale for evangelical involvement in biodiversity conservation. This is offered both as a call to action to fellow evangelical Christians, and to assist the broader conservation movement in understanding our motivations”, the statement points out.
The document underlines that “the earth and all its ecosystems, life-forms, habitats and resources belong to God, who created and sustains all life [...] As a consequence, biodiversity, the variety of life in the earth, oceans and skies, has beauty, purpose and inherent value”.
“Excessive human use that leads to the destruction of biodiversity and ecosystems, or human-induced extinction of fellow species, is a form of rebellion against God, or sin”, it stresses.
According to the signatotes, “whilst humans were created to live in harmony with nature, we struggle as a consequence of our selfish choices, we see the damaging impacts of human sin within the natural world”, but, “the Bible is clear that God is committed to all creation, including the riches of biodiversity”.
“God wishes ‘to keep their various kinds alive’ (Gen 7:3), a text that could be seen as a clarion call to biodiversity preservation. Moreover, God’s covenant in Genesis 9 is not only with humanity but includes ‘all living creatures of every kind on the earth’ (9:8-17), a concise definition of biodiversity”.
The statement recognises that “the biblical vision of the future of the earth and its biodiversity has often been contested amongst evangelicals. We condemn the misuse of biblical texts to permit the greedy, selfish and destructive exploitation of the earth’s ecosystems and biodiversity”.
Furthermore, it “points to the profound vision of future harmony and hope beyond judgment that is found throughout the biblical texts”.
The authors of the document, “affirm God’s commitment to his whole creation, and as a result we are called to join God’s ongoing work to redeem and restore all creation through radical and decisive faith-consistent actions”.
That is why “we call on ourselves, our fellow evangelical Christians, our churches and organizations to lament the tragic and avoidable losses in biodiversity, [...] to repent of our past silence, complicity and abuse of scripture in justifying the destruction of biodiversity”.
They also call to “teach a vision of God’s Kingdom on earth as in heaven, based on the biblical basis for the care of creation, [..] to inform ourselves of, and be guided by, the latest scientific research on biodiversity loss both locally and globally”.
“Listen to the voices of the worldwide church, to those of other faiths and worldviews in order better to understand our impact upon nature,[...] collaborate cross-culturally with all who seek to protect biodiversity and communities affected by its loss”, the document recommends.
The document encourages Christians to “reduce our negative impact upon God’s world by changing our personal habits, […] to engage our workplaces, businesses, educational centres and political leaders to ensure that the voice of biodiversity is heard and given due weight in all decision-making”.
“Initiate and implement solutions, projects, and programs that are needed to protect and restore ecosystems, […] celebrate and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, seeking signs of God’s self-revelation through creation”, signatores conclude.
In adition to WEA, LWCNN and A Rocha International, the document has been signed by other Christian organisations such as TearFund, Langham, African Enterprise and Care of Creation.
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