Editorial: Climate action requires interfaith collaboration
Originally published by The National Catholic Reporter on August 23 by NCR Editorial Staff
As morning storm clouds cleared over Lake Michigan Aug. 17, leaders from more than a dozen Christian faith traditions gathered by the shore to sign an ecumenical declaration on care for creation. The event was part of the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Chicago Aug. 14-18, and the 13 leaders who signed this particular declaration were but a small sampling of the approximately 200 belief systems and 6,000 religious leaders represented at the Parliament.
Two days earlier, faith leaders from around the world gathered along the Chicago lakeshore for a climate repentance ceremony where members from Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian communities read 10 spiritual practices for addressing climate change. Among them: “We must care for each other and the planet.”
The camaraderie and collaborative pursuit of the common good is a marker of the interfaith gathering, and this year’s theme of “A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom and Human Rights,” placed ecological concerns prominently throughout the weeklong program.
It’s not the first time in recent years that faith leaders from around the world have gathered to join forces in advocating for effective climate action. But it is one of the latest iterations of a multifaith approach to addressing climate change and related issues that’s thankfully been becoming the norm.