World News: Evangelicals Launch Campaign Against Global Warming

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A network of evangelical leaders has launched a campaign for government and grass-roots action to reduce global warming.

The new group, called the Evangelical Climate Initiative, includes leaders like Rev. Rick Warren, author of A Purpose-Driven Life, and the leaders of two of the largest American religious charities: the Salvation Army and World Vision.

The group released a document called “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action,” which was signed by 86 evangelical leaders. Signatories include Rev. Peter Borgdorff, executive director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America; Andy Ryskamp, director of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee-U.S.; and Dr. Galen Byker, president of Calvin College.

“This is God’s world, and any damage that we do to God’s world is an offense against God Himself,” the document says. “Climate change is the latest evidence of our failure to exercise proper stewardship and constitutes a critical opportunity for us to do better.”

The statement, which calls for legislation enforcing mandatory emissions reductions, comes just weeks after the National Association of Evangelicals announced it would not take an official position on climate change and global warming. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson are among those who oppose activism on global warming, saying there is neither a scientific nor an evangelical consensus on the topic.

Ron Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action, said he and other signatories of the new anti-global warming statement represent the center of the evangelical movement. Though he respects some of those who discount the urgency of taking action against global warming, Sider said he’s saddened by their stance. “Frankly,” he said. “they’re going to look really silly in another 10 years.”

For more information on the climate change intiative, visit www.ChristiansAndClimate.org. (RNS)

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