Protestant and orthodox leaders have joined forces and embraced the call of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis to denounce what looks like an 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 said to be before mankind.
Human activity and human greed are reportedly harming the precious resource for many years, even as the speed of destruction seems to be soaring. The Brazilian INPE (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais) published data showing an 278% increase in deforestation in July compared 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 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. Seventy-nine faith-based organisations have already signed the “Somos las Amazonas”, 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.
The ACT Alliance is a coalition of over 150 churches and religious organisations working together in over 140 countries to create positive and sustainable change in the lives of the poor and marginalised.