A study on how Evangelical Alliance websites across Europe adress climate change, climate crisis and creation care.
In January 2023, I surveyed the Evangelical Alliance websites of countries which are members of the European Evangelical Alliance, looking for mention on their websites of articles or resources relating to the key search phrases of ‘climate change’, ‘climate crisis’ and ‘creation care’.
Almost half of the websites had at least one article containing these words, and examples are given below.
Several had dedicated web pages or areas of their website with multiple articles and resources, notably the German, German-speaking Swiss, the Dutch and UK EA websites.
Most of the articles date between 2019 and 2022, although the German website has an article from 2007 and the Swedish website from 2009.
I was unable to find any articles using the search phrases on the websites from the following countries: Israel, Turkey, Hungary, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Albania, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Portugal, Kosovo, or Latvia.
This must be caveated with the limitations of using translated search terms which may not be accurate, the fact that some of these websites are used to link member churches and organisations rather than promote current thinking, and some not having a search function available.
That said however, the list below gives an interesting insight into the thinking of many evangelicals in Europe around climate change, and links to resources which you may find useful in your ministry.
Quoting American Emma Higgs, this article explores how churches can address the concerns of Generation Y, including taking the environment seriously. “More so than past generations, young Christians see God not only as Saviour, but as Creator and Sustainer of this very stricken earth. And they expect that love for all of God's creation will also find room in the church.”
“Prof. Schirrmacher praised the evangelical leaders in Africa for playing a decisive role in addressing important social issues and issues of climate change – alongside the crucial role that African evangelical churches have played in world evangelization.”
15.8.20 Download ‘Caring for Creation’
A download of the 2012 Lausanne ‘Caring for Creation’ report from the global hearing on caring for creation and the Gospel, translated into Danish.
Article by Erwan Cloarec, President of the CNEF outlining six proposals for how the perspective of creation care changes how we present and represent the Gospel to our contemporaries:
Living mission in a created world involves loving God's world
Living mission in a created world involves engaging with God's creation
Living the mission in a created world reminds us that the Word of God is first
Living the mission in a created world reminds us of our limits
Living the mission in a created world involves living in accordance with the message we carry
Living the mission in a created world invites us to move forward together in a unity marked by diversity
24 results for ‘climate change’ dating from 2007 to 2021. Most recent article linked.
7.1.21 Taking care of creation
Article about a biblical perspective on climate change and thinking about how to vote in the light of political parties’ economic policies
No date We connect
One of the ways the Irish EA connects with its membership is through conferences, open forums and discussion days. Creation care is one of the topics they have covered.
Report of the CoP26 meetings in Glasgow, signposting to EAUK resources and pointing to previous evangelical declarations dating from the 1980s, linking to these documents.
There is a call for ‘all churches to become aware of this enormous heritage, to study it in the light of the Scriptures and to live an integral mission that does not neglect the responsibility that God has entrusted to us as stewards of all his creation in his stead.
28.11.22 International Week of Prayer 2023
The first day of the international week of prayer includes a meditation on ‘joy in creation’, including acknowledgement of ‘the difficulties in the face of what we do to God’s creation’
Transcript of a UK broadcast ‘thought for the day’ by theologian Elaine Storkey about how we should live in humility and harmony with the planet, recognising that we are ‘only part of God’s creation’
A web page giving links to other resources about creation care and articles such as ‘the green heart of our faith’; research showing that more than 80% of church youth are deeply concerned about climate change, and exploring what the Bible has to say about the climate
A day conference planned in Bergen on 24 March focusing on the climate crisis in the light of Christian faith. Topics include ‘what does the bible say about the protection of creation’, ‘’how to relate to climate research’ and ‘what do we do about this?’
2022 motto on home page ‘Evangelical Alliance, for life and care of Creation: we promote the unity of the church to transform society’
A statement from the IV National Conference on Bioethics includes a section on the care of creation and the role of humans as those delegated by God to take care of the planet in a responsible way
28.9.21 They want no children to be born
An article outlining the anti-natalist movement who believe that it is immoral to bring children into the world when they will experience themselves or cause suffering to others, not least through climate change, in contrast to the Christian understanding of the value of children, and Christ’s imperative ‘let the children come to me!’ (Mark 10:14)
Article linked to the climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009 and the Christian response to looking after creation: For those who are Christians, commitment to creation is a matter of course.”
Republishing of the Lausanne Global Consultation on the Protection of Creation and the Gospel into German by the Swiss Evangelical Alliance
Report from the Swiss EA’s Working Group for Climate, Energy and Environment (AKU) that ‘decisive action to combat global warming is an ethical duty to our descendants and all of creation.
“The AKU sees itself as a competence centre in the field of climate change, energy and environment. It motivates Christians to tackle the problems of climate change and excessive resource consumption passionately and with concrete actions.”
A survey of Christians in Switzerland, Germany and Austria asking their views on social justice and sustainable living. The research is being led by Prof. Dr. Tobias Faix and Prof. Dr. Tobias Künkler. It was open between November 2022 and January 2023 and expects to report later in 2023.
24.9.18 Climate Justice Broadcasts
Advertising a series of programmes about climate justice from StopPauvreté (an awareness-raising movement part of ‘Interaction’, the humanitarian and development arm of the Swiss Evangelical Network (RES)).
They were broadcast between September and December 2018, broadcast on French speaking TV channel Maxtv/Theotv
Link to order the French translation of ‘God, Ecology and me’ by David Bookless, published by A Rocha
69 results found across the website for ‘Climate change’, mostly dated between 2018 and 2023.
The Changing Church: Climate Change area of the website has a number of resources for churches aimed to “equip the UK church to respond to the climate crisis with gospel motivation.”
These include ‘5 key questions for your church on climate change response’; ‘Climate change: Gospel motivation for a global issue’, and ’10 top tips for creation care’.
Jo Appleton is one of the founding editors of Vista
Vista is an online journal offering research-based information about mission in Europe. Founded in 2010, each themed edition covers a variety of perspectives on crucial issues for mission. Download the latest edition or read individual articles here. This article first appeared in the march 2023 edition of Vista Journal.