Aug 23, 2019

Religious leaders come together in defence of the Amazon

Protestant and orthodox leaders join forces and embrace the call of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis to denounce the appalling attack on the Amazon rainforest.

With unprecedented wildfires that are currently destroying the largest tropical rainforest on earth, which contributes to producing 20% of oxygen in the atmosphere, the dangers of permanently compromising the “lung of the earth” are before us.

Human activity and human greed have been harming this precious resource for many years however, the speed of destruction is soaring. The Brazilian INPE (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais) published data showing an 278% increase in deforestation in Julycompared to the same month a year ago.

“The Amazon is being destroyed and there is no time to waste. Religious leaders must act together for the sake of humanity.” Says Brazilian-born Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, General Secretary of the ACT Alliance, a coalition of more than 150  faith-based organisations. “The behaviour of the Brazilian government is inexcusable. Thinking of attracting business by destroying the Amazon rainforest is a visionless  strategy. Disregarding science is a recipe for disaster ”

The Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is scheduled to meet in Rome in October 2019. 79 Faith- based organisations have already signed the  “Somos las Amazonia”, a declaration that expresses support for the Synod’s vision and outlines a pathway for action and political pressure to protect the rainforest, the indigenous communities and those human right defenders who risk their life to preserve the Amazon.

“The growing threats to the Amazon are no accident but the result of weak environmental policies and the little attention paid to those indigenous communities who are the true forest keepers” said Sarah de Roure, Country Manager of Christian Aid Brazil.

For more information about the “Somos las Amazonia” declaration click here

Read the declaration of Fórum Ecumênico Brasil ” Brazil: Our Common Home Aflame” here