Friday, November 28, 2008

Faiths in climate change summit

A Muslim man praying
Muslims, Jews and Christians are among the attendants

In an action that seemed quite odd to the nature of the gathering,hundreds of representatives of the world's leading religions are in Sweden for a summit on climate change - said to be the first of its kind.

The two-day conference involves Christians, Muslims, Jews, Chinese Daoists and a native American representative, among others.

Their aim is to set a manifesto to encourage far-reaching policy goals from the United Nations and to push the body to adopt serious actions on the matter.

They also want to encourage personal commitments from people of faith.

The lack of enthusiasm for action on climate change in some religious quarters is being tackled head on by the meeting.

The Anglican Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, says the religious community must speak out.

"Here is a major, human emergency."

"Many of our constituencies regard this still as a peripheral second-order issue - it's got to be moved up the agenda."

As it is well known that major religious traditions have in one way or another theological concepts relating to trusteeship (Khilafah) of the earth and that each religious tradition has its own way of believeing how divine rules decree them on taking care of the environment. The gathering indeed is set on converging the major religious traditions and setting a systematic program on how to involve the "faithful"
in taking care of the environment.

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