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Alfredo Sirkis

Faith in the climate: mobilizing religious communities

Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous leaders are leading a multi-religious event in the defense of the climate in the oldest synagogue of the Americas, Kahal Zur Israel, in the street of Bom Jesus, near Marco Zero, in Ancient Recife. There, in the 17th century, the founders of New York left.  Faith in the Climate, was the genesis of an ecumenical movement of mobilization against the climate emergency. It was held during the Brazilian Conference on Climate Change by the Centro Brasil no Cima (CBC), Instituto de Estudos de Religião (ISER), and Instituto Clima e Sociedade (ICS), with the support of the Federação Israelita de Pernambuco (FIPE), chaired by Sônia Sette.


The protagonists were Rabbi Nilton Bonder; Father Fábio Santos; coordinator of the Commission for Ecumenism of the Catholic Church of Pernambuco; Pastor Paulo César Pereira, president of the Alliance of Baptist Churches, Mother Beth de Oxum and Jaqueline Xakuru, young indigenous leadership. Karenna Gore, director of the Center for Earth Ethics, daughter of the former vice president of the United States, Al Gore, participated in the event. She works with ecumenical mobilization in defense of climate. The interreligious ceremony was followed by a debate with its protagonists, in the neighboring cultural center SinsPire, in Arsenal Square.


It is not difficult to understand why these religions and others need to mobilize around this issue, following the example of Pope Francis' positioning in the encyclical Laudato Si and the recent Synod of Bishops of Amazonia. In all of them, the planet and its nature (the biosphere for scientists), its living beings and the restless and restless humanity that it carries are related to the Divine, they constitute a creation or a sacred existence, clearly under threat. Global warming, which is on a 4.5 degree trajectory, from hell on earth until the end of the century; the accelerated extermination of biodiversity and the pollution and accelerated acidification of the seas are obvious and ululating phenomena.  In theory, there can be no religion that remains indifferent to this. In theory alone, for the vast neopentecostal universe which sustains the present government remains largely silent but must be shaken.


 The act of Recife was the first and brought together already very sensitive religious leaders -when not direct victims- of devastation. It also dealt with the religious intolerance that is taking place against, especially the Afro-Brazilian and indigenous faiths.


We only took the first step. The next step is to establish a dialogue with those who have not yet awakened or positioned themselves in relation to the climate. I feel that it is an easier path than dialoguing on other topics. The next steps must be in this sense and find interlocutors and fine-tune the instruments of communication that are the most effective.


These communities also need to be sensitized to work through the 1.5 degree purgatory. The contemporary miracle.

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