Category: Religion and the Environment

Interfaith group seeks to protect California deserts

Seven religious leaders climbed out of their vehicles on a recent weekday and scattered on foot across Whitewater Canyon northwest of Palm Springs. They were looking for clues to the character of the prophets said to have used the wilderness as a gateway to spiritual awakenings.

It didn’t take long for members of the newly formed Desert Stewardship Project, an interfaith coalition dedicated to protecting the vast expanses of arid California, to find what they were seeking, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Moses met the Lord in the form of a burning bush on a mountain in the Sinai desert. Jesus prayed in the desert for 40 days before beginning his ministry. The prophet Muhammad meditated in a cave on the desert mountain of Hira, where the Angel Gabriel recited the Koran to him.

The coalition’s members — churches, synagogues, mosques and cultural organizations mainly in the Inland Empire — are linked by the spiritual connections between their local desert landscapes and the parched sacred grounds that have nurtured some of the world’s great religions.

Their mission is to spur more congregations to take on issues affecting desert lands, vistas and waterways and help provide what Burklo described as “a new dimension and depth” to the conversations about them. The areas of interest include alternative energy development, mining, recreation, military exercises, transportation corridors and proposed national monuments.

Earth Day at 40: God goes green

Religion Earth Day Earth Day’s 40th anniversary arrives on April 22 with people of faith promoting environmentalism more than ever — and others revering nature to the extent that some wonder if ecology is a new religion.

Yet for Christians, in particular, the concept of “creation care” is allowing them to find common ground on environmental protection.

Green Gospels: Environmental movement in the religious mainstream

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — More than a decade ago on an Aegean island, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians made a startling proposition: That pollution and other attacks on the environment could be considered sins. At the time, the idea earned him little more than a nickname — the “green patriarch.” It’s no longer such a radical view. Eco-friendly attitudes have increasingly moved into the mainstream of many faiths — from Muslim clerics urging water conservation in the fast-growing Gulf states to evangelical preachers in the United States calling attention to global warming. Next week, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Evangelists’ coalition demands White House acts on environment

Evangelical Christians, pillars of the Bush presidency and the Republican majorities in Congress, are increasingly breaking with the White House and demanding real action to tackle climate change and avert a global disaster. Eighty-six prominent figures in the movement, among them leading pastors, the heads of evangelical colleges and the Salvation Army, released a statement yesterday warning that “millions of people could die this century” because of global warming – most of them in the earth’s poorest regions. Until recently global warming has not been a priority for evangelicals, most familiar for their uncompromising stances on social issues such as