Christians and climate change

Sept 2019—Increasingly Christians are framing climate change as a moral issue. Some are endorsing the Green New Deal.

When the Pew Research Center polled different Christian sects in 2015 on climate change, white evangelicals were the least likely, at 28%, to recognize that the planet is warming due to human actions. That compared to 41% of white mainline Protestants, 45% of white Catholics, 56% of black Protestants and 77% of Hispanic Catholics. 

Yet the number of actual Christian deniers has plummeted over the past four years as mounting natural disasters, increasingly grave scientific forecasts and a rapidly growing political movement erase doubt over the cause of planetary changes. And new research published last week shows that religious messaging on climate resonates with Christians who already understand the crisis.

Religious groups have been at the forefront of a lot of other social movements including Apartheid and civil rights. So it’s encouraging to see them finally stepping up to the climate crisis, 28 years since the Catholic Church issued the Bishops Letter, Renewing the Earth, in 1991 and then in 2001, Global Climate Change, a Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good. Religion may change slowly but once wakened, it’s a powerful force for change.

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Darcy Hitchcock