Spiritual leaders from around the world converged in Jerusalem to discuss how they could advance world ecology, giving hope for further interfaith collaboration for the benefit of all humanity.

Religious leaders from around the world converged in Jerusalem on October 22 for a Faith and Ecology Conference, meant to empower faith leaders to be promoters of green activity.

Over 100 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim clergy and seminary students were educated on religiously related ecological issues and were provided with tools and inspiration to expand faith-based environmental teaching and action.

The conference included interactive workshops, an outdoor session and a video session featuring pre-recorded addresses from the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. Part of the event was dedicated to generating action plans, with the participants committing to continued collaboration on the environment.

This event was part of the United Planet Faith & Science Initiative, which brings faith and science leaders together to generate shifts in society in order to address climate change. .

Bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said, “We need to collaborate together – Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus. Ecology unites the religions. If we speak together as religious leaders, our impact is really stronger.”

Hopes for Further Inter-Religious Partnerships

“The whole conference was designed to go from the big picture to small concrete action,” Rachel Winner, project coordinator, told Israel21C. “We started with a large panel and then breakout sessions for specific faiths, and each participant was able to attend two. After all that learning, we got together with our own faith communities and talked about what we can do. A representative from each group presented the inspiring results, and we’re hoping to facilitate continued meetings through our organization.”

“We hope to start building partnerships between specific institutions for green initiatives in their locale,” says Winner. “That is something very new that will help dig into the next layer of environmental activism.”

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Author: United with Israel Staff
(With files from Israel21C)