JERUSALEM — Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in the Holy Land joined forces Monday to launch a multi-faith environmental campaign, citing religious injunctions to protect the Earth across their three faiths.
Among their plans are the convening of an international conference of religious leaders in New York ahead of the 2012 UN General Assembly, a North America public relations campaign and training future clerics on the importance of environmental issues, one of the organisers said.
At the Jerusalem launch of the Interfaith Centre for Sustainable Development, rabbi David Rosen noted that the obligation upon humans to care for their surroundings comes near the very beginning of the Bible.
“That is the original charge in the first chapters of Genesis, given to the first man and woman, not purely to develop, to till the land, but also to protect it… to conserve it,” he said, to nods of agreement from a Roman Catholic bishop and the Palestinian deputy minister of religious affairs.
“The main religions should really study the ecological crisis together, because our destiny is common,” bishop William Shomali said. “If Earth is polluted it is polluted for Muslims, Christian and Jews.”
Laying out the centre’s plan of action, rabbi Yonatan Neril said that the campaign was not limited to monotheistic faiths.