Though some people believe that religion conflicts with science, some believe that religious people are all anti-science, and others use religion to explain global events, there are several religious, spiritual, and religiously unaffiliated groups in the world addressing climate change because of their beliefs.
Islands of Faith/Semesta is a documentary about 7 different worldviews and their response to climate change – Available on Netflix Canada. Funded by the European Union and the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, it details how and why Hindu, indigenous, Christian, and Muslim groups are responding to climate change across the Indonesian islands. Worldwide, Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas are preserving biodiversity based on Indigenous culture, evident in Canada’s Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve. Many other belief groups created movements, streams of work, or organizations that focus specifically on climate change too, such as Jewcology (Jewish), EcoSikh (Sikh), Green Muslims (Muslim), Creation Care (Christian), among others. Individually, there are those who speak up to address climate change, like Dr. Katherine Hayhoe (Christian) and David Suzuki (atheist) – both Canadian.
These contradictions show that, despite a few loud voices from religious people who ignore climate change, there are many working in an organized fashion to address it, because of their beliefs and working towards a common goal regardless of one another’s belief. This highlights the internal diversity within belief groups, and how belief influences one’s action and their understanding of the world – three key understandings in being religiously literate.
By: Dr. W. Y. Alice Chan, CCRL Executive Director & Co-Founder
To read other ways to use religious literacy, check out other Thought Corner contributions here: https://ccrl-clrc.ca/religious-literacy-resources/thought-corner/