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Religion of Saturday, 17 October 2015

Source: GNA

Religious leaders should safeguard the environment - Lecturer

Religious people could work towards safeguarding the environment from destruction and controlling negative climate change by adopting simple lifestyles, Dr Ben-Willie Golo, Lecturer, Department for the study of Religion, University of Ghana has said.

He said there is the need for a sound and faithful acceptance and adherence to the positive teachings "of our faith on care for creation".

Dr Golo was speaking at the 7th Annual Interfaith Symposium in Accra on the theme: "Interreligious Engagement on Climate Justice and Sustainable Peace for National Development."

The Symposium is organised by the Presbyterian Interfaith Research and Resource Centre (PIRRC).

He said environmental problems are not exclusively political but also theological and ethical because the problems emerge from what humans believe of themselves in relation to the non-human world and requires religious responses and intervention.

Dr Golo said climate change reflects a failure to a divine duty and irresponsibility to humanity, adding that religious people believe and teach that the earth is not owned by humankind and that humans are stewards of the earth.

He noted that, not only does the climate crisis reveal the country's disobedience of God, but also insolence towards God.

Dr Golo said religious people in their search for good life, would have to approach the environment not in ways that only benefit them and society but in ways that maintain the goodness and rhythm of creation.

He said the challenge of justice, love and care for the other is one major spiritual and moral challenge embedded in the climate crisis, especially in terms of its effects.

He said climate change poses a challenge to these core virtues and that the view about social justice invites religious people to serve the poor and fight against environmental injustices and to wrestle for environmental goods such as clean air and water, and fertile farmland.

Reverend Samuel Odjelua, Director of Ecumenical and Social Relations of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana said PIRRC organises an interfaith symposium each year to commemorate the anniversary of the inauguration of the centre.

He said the symposium brings together people of different faiths to discuss issues of common good and work towards addressing such issues.

"The objective of the symposium is to promote responsible ecological development to enhance the development of the country," he added.

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