The Role of Faith Communities Essay

1459 WordsApr 16, 20136 Pages
The Church has a strong history of tackling injustice through its work in the fight against poverty, the promotion of fair trade and equitable and sustainable development. Now, climate change has become the most prescient threat to the wellbeing of all of humanity, and in particular to the poorest and the most vulnerable in society. That makes it the new social justice issue for faith communities across the world. The notion of taking responsibility and caring for creation began to emerge as a central social concern for the Catholic Church in the late 1980s. Around the same time, in 1986, a concern for people's relationship with nature was highlighted at the Assisi Interfaith Conference brokered by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which resulted in the Assisi Declaration. This contained statements from the world's five great faiths - Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism about their role in conserving nature. In 1990, Pope John Paul II dedicated his annual World Day of Peace message to warning of the dangers of irreversible damage caused by the greenhouse effect: In our day, there is a growing awareness that world peace is threatened not only by the arms race, regional conflicts and continued injustices among peoples and nations, but also by a lack of due respect for nature, by the plundering of natural resources....today the ecological crisis has assumed such proportions as to be the responsibility of everyone. Pope John Paul II (1989) Many faith groups were actively involved in the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and played a similarly prominent role in its ten-year anniversary event, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg in 2002. Climate change - a moral and ethical issue As Al

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