Faiths join the rebellion to halt world’s extinction

image credit: XRIslington

By Lianne Kolirin, 1 September 2020
“Rebels from all faiths and cultures” have been urged to join an inter-faith demonstration at the Houses of Parliament today as part of Extinction Rebellion’s latest round of protests.
The call to action urges supporters from all religious backgrounds to join the event “to highlight the failure of our government to protect us”.
Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses “non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse”, it declares on its website.
It has planned a fortnight of action from today as MPs return to Westminster after the summer recess.
Faith-based activists will “surround parliament” at 4pm as part of a week that will see large-scale gatherings in London, Manchester and Cardiff. The aim is to get politicians to commit to backing the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill.
Supporters have been encouraged to join the events. However, the Metropolitan Police Service has written to Extinction Rebellion to remind them that organisers of any gathering of more than 30 people will face fines of £10,000.
Interfaith climate change campaign groups have sprung up throughout the world. The imperative to save the planet springs from sacred texts, with the common theme that creation is a gift from God that people must care for and protect for future generations. They gather support from faith communities and work alongside secular organisations.
Many in the UK are members of The Climate Coalition, which unites sport, faith, international development charities and others in climate change campaigns.
There are a multitude of climate change faith groups. In the UK, Faith for the Climate unites 170 faith communities working on climate change. In the United States, GreenFaith is a coalition working with people of all faiths to help them become “better environmental stewards”.
Last year another coalition of faith institutions — the Global Catholic Climate Movement, Operation Noah, Green Anglicans and GreenFaith — announced its intention to get rid of stocks, bonds or investment funds involving fossil fuels.

STORY LINKS
Extinction Rebellion thanks churches for their support. The Tablet
Bishops join Extinction Rebellion protesters. Church Times
Climate protesters are like Jesus, says vicar helping to blockade bridge. The Times
Church of England seeks to go carbon-neutral in a decade. The Times
Covid-19 can be the catalyst to fight climate change. Religion Media Centre
Faith groups join climate strike. Religion Media Centre

COMMENTATORS

The Rev Giles Goddard, vicar of St John’s Church, Waterloo, founder of Faith for the Climate

Rabbi Jeffrey Newman, founder of Shema, a cross-denominational network for climate action

Dr Husna Ahmad, Secretary-General of World Muslim Leadership Forum.

Dr Stefan Skrimshire, associate professor of political theology, eco-theology; continental philosophy of religion, critical theory and environmental ethics at Leeds University.

Green Christian, founded in 1981, committed to peaceful protesting