Church must repent for climate change sins

The Methodist Church is calling upon Christians to acknowledge and repent of the sins they have committed that have contributed to climate change.

Published 09 July 2009  |  
LONDON - The call was made in the report 'Hope in God's Future', received by the annual Methodist Conference on Wednesday.

The report encourages people to repent in particular for their complicity in systems that exploit creation and prey on the powerless, but also offers advice on how Christians can make positive lifestyle changes.

Rev David Gamble, the President of the Conference, said the report sent out a challenge to the Church to tackle the issue head on and commit to "significant action" over the next few years.

"The first step in making a difference is the recognition of what we've done wrong so far. But we can't just stop there. We must not be beholden to economic growth at the expense of our world and the lives of those who are most vulnerable," he said.

"In the face of climate change, do we give up and treat it as a lost cause? No. We are people of faith. We can turn the tide if we commit ourselves to acting together to make our planet a safer space."

The report criticises the Government for failing to make clear how it will reach its target of an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by the year 2050, but says the Church also needs to take action if it is going to accomplish the same goal with its own carbon emissions.

"We cannot expect the Government to take the issue seriously if we fail to do so ourselves, and this report outlines some big changes for the Church," said Rev Gamble.

The Conference heard from Bishop Michael Baroi of the Church of Bangladesh, who urged the British Church to make climate change a priority.

He said: "By 2050, two thirds of my country will go under water and about 30 million people will be displaced and have no place of their own to live on this planet Earth, if we do not deal with this issue of global warming and climate change urgently and seriously."


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