We are united by a fundamental belief that all people, all living things, and the Earth are sacred. As we consider the state of the world today, our hearts overflow with concern.
On 18 November, FFTC was thrilled to co-host a call to help kick-start the new Greenfaith International Network and its Sacred People, Sacred Earth campaign. The call was one of a series bringing people together around the world, and was hosted by Meryne Warah from GreenFaith International, based in Nairobi, and Faith for the Climate Partnerships Lead Lizzie Nelson. It focused on the urgent need for a faith-based, planet-wide climate movement - one which will unite grassroots voices into a truly global call for a greener, fairer world, embodying universal values of compassion, love and justice.
Livestream of the 18 November Anglophone Sacred People, Sacred Earth call
The meeting launched the Sacred People, Sacred Earth Statement for all to sign, which has also been made into a video. The Statement includes ten demands to political and business leaders, covering areas such as renewable energy and a net-zero future, bringing financial systems into alignment with compassionate values, respect for indigenous people and refugees, and just contributions from wealthy countries to address colonial debts. The final demand is for bold faith community leadership: “Sustained, united action guided by the teachings of our diverse religions, ushering in an equitable, peaceful life for all.”
The Statement will be made public on a Global Day of Action on 11 March 2021, when places of worship around the world will sound the alarm for the climate.
Video of the Sacred People, Sacred Earth statement, featuring Faith for the Climate Network Coordinator Shanon Shah
During the discussion, which featured participants from four continents, Father Reverend Joseph Mutie, Chair of the Interreligious Council of Kenya, described a successful local campaign against coal mining which had protected local livelihoods. Kirtanya Lutchminarayan of the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI) then spoke about the urgent need to reignite our “heart intelligence” to bring clarity, focus and integration to our lives and actions.
Later in the call, Kamran Shezad of The Bahu Trust spoke about Faith for the Climate’s capacity-building work with smaller faith communities, and held a conversation with Saba Yasin, Climate Action Officer of Islamic Help, on how mosques can engage with young people on climate issues. Artistic contributions uplifted participants, and Saba Yasin and interfaith minister Reverend Berry Behr of SAFCEI offered opening and closing prayers.
Allow us to take seriously the role You have given us to be Your stewards on Earth. Forgive us for being careless with Your blessings… Change us, and use us in ways You are pleased with, for the restoration of Your world, and the protection of all people.
Saba Yasin, opening prayer for the Anglophone Sacred People, Sacred Earth call
Four more Sacred People, Sacred Earth kick-off calls took place worldwide from 17-18 November, launching the start of the campaign in Oceania, North America, Latin America, and the Francophone world. The Statement has been translated into 13 languages so far.
We are hugely excited to be part of this initiative creating the biggest-ever grassroots, global, multi-faith climate action network. Please watch the video, sign the statement, join the movement, and share with your contacts. We look forward to joining forces with you as Sacred People, Sacred Earth gathers momentum!