Sierra Club highlights going green for God: "Faith in Action" report

October 21, 2008

From Christians in Hawaii to Buddhists in Connecticut, and from Jews in New York to Muslims in Wisconsin, people of all walks of faith are finding a myriad of ways to care for the environment, states a first-of-its-kind report from the Sierra Club.

According to the report, “Faith in Action: Communities of Faith Bring Hope for the Planet,” 67 percent of Americans said they care about the environment because it is God’s creation.

Highlighting faith-based environmental initiatives in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the report praises the “breadth, depth and diversity of spiritually motivated grassroots efforts to protect the planet.”

The 36-page report highlights different programs, from the efforts of Episcopalians to restrict oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to a large-scale recycling program at a Southern Baptist megachurch near Orlando, Florida.

The document said faith communities are leading a new eco-conscious wave that is rolling across the nation, “greening” all areas of religious and secular life. Reducing carbon emissions, protecting endangered species and launching energy-awareness campaigns are just some of the efforts being made.

The study is the latest indicator of a fledgling alliance between environmental groups and religious institutions, even as some conservative religious groups remain skeptical about the causes of and concerns over climate change.

“Lasting social change rarely takes place without the active engagement of communities of faith,” the report said. –Religion News Service