New York, NY - June 26, 2015
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) welcomes Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home’ as a theologically rich and morally challenging document. Serving some 600 million evangelicals, the WEA encourages its constituency to use this opportunity to reflect on the Biblical call to be good stewards of God’s creation and to take consonant personal and social actions for the common good.
“We welcome not only the timely publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical with its urgent call to care for creation and respond to today’s ecological challenges and crises, but also the media attention it has received and the conversations it has stirred up,” says Bp Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the WEA.
“As Christians we should actively engage in these conversations and highlight our clear Biblical mandate to care for the gift of creation that God has entrusted to us. But we’re also reminded that climate change, pollution, and other actions that degrade our air, rivers, oceans, forests, and soils disproportionally affect the poor. Responding to those challenges is therefore also a matter of loving our neighbor and speaking up for the vulnerable,” he added.
With its members and partners, the WEA has long been engaged in research, hosting of consultations, and raising awareness among churches. At its General Assembly in 2008, WEA’s constituency of 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances passed a resolution on the Care of Creation that “calls upon Christians to listen to and work with all those who are concerned about the healing of creation.”
And a joint WEA statement with the Lausanne Movement in 2012 “calls on the global evangelical community to take steps, personally and collectively, to live within the proper boundaries of God’s good gift in creation, to engage further in its restoration and conservation, and to equitably share its bounty with each other.”
Earlier in 2012, the WEA launched its Creation Care Task Force (CCTF) to network with other organizations and individuals, to equip local churches with resources and practical tools, and to serve as a voice for the global evangelical community on this issue.
Referring to other WEA statements on creation care, Dr. Chris Elisara, Chair of the CCTF, said: “The WEA’s position on climate change is clear, climate change is real and it is a threat to the integrity of the planet’s ecosystems, and thus a threat to human wellbeing. Whether one believes that human causes are a major contributing factor or not, we have a Biblical and moral responsibility to work toward a just, equitable, and ecologically sustainable way of living.”
For more information on evangelicals’ engagement with creation care, see also:
> Statement on Creation Care (WEA resolution, General Assembly 2008)
> Declaration on Creation Stewardship and Climate Change (Micah Network, 2009)
> Cape Town Commitment (joint WEA document with the Lausanne Movement, 2011)
> Creation Care & the Gospel – Call to Action (joint WEA document with the Lausanne Movement, 2012)
> WEA Creation Care Task Force website
> Lausanne Creation Care Network website
Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving and representing more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to speak as a trusted voice, to equip members and leaders for global impact and to connect its members and others for common action in the furtherance of God’s reign. For more info e-mail at [email protected] or go to Worldea.org.