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Hindus laud Orthodox Christians for strong stand on environment
by Rajan Zed
2008-08-30 09:03:16
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Hindus have praised Orthodox Christian Church, second largest Christian denomination of the world, for taking a strong stand on environment.

Acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded powerful statement of His All Holiness Archbishop Bartholomew, Patriarch of Orthodox Christian Church, which described climate change “a moral and spiritual problem”.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, commended Bartholomew’s message for the upcoming Day of the Protection of the Environment (September one) posted on website of the Church, which said, “…the irrational use of natural resources and the unchecked consumption of energy contribute to the reality of climate change, with consequences on the life and survival of humanity created in the image of God and is therefore tantamount to sin.”

Zed also lauded Bartholomew’s dedication of September one “as a day of supplication for the preservation of God’s beautiful creation”; for launching “Religion, Science and the Environment (RSE) Movement”; for organizing RSE symposia and reaching out across different faiths and denominations in the symposia, revealing the wisdom of diverse theological traditions; for striving to establish a stable and innovative alliance between religion and science; and for saying, “Especially disturbing is the fact that the poorest and most vulnerable members of the human race are being affected by environmental problems which they did not create”.

Faiths coming out in support of the environment were a remarkable signal, Zed said and urged all world religious leaders, religions and denominations to openly bless the environmental causes. Ancient Hindu scriptures, especially Atharva-Veda, were highly respectful of mother nature, he added.

We may believe in different religions, yet we share the same home—our Earth. We must learn to happily progress or miserably perish together. For man can live individually but can only survive collectively, Zed said quoting scriptures.

His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch is the 270th successor to the Apostle Andrew and spiritual leader of about 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion followers. Moksha (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-08-30 13:52:19
The misinterpretation of Genesis, as exemplified in today’s cartoon, is indeed the theological root of the problem of environmental stewardship. Fortunately, as the article above intimates Christians are becoming more aware of that responsibility. In Genesis we have a God who creates freely and then even before resting and launching the whole enterprise sees that what She/He has created is “very good” and blesses it (the original blessing). The culmination of that free creation is a creature who is as free as She is (in his own image) and that creature is given dominion over the plant and animal world but that dominion is not despotism, it is more of a responsible stewardship than a greedy capitalistic ownership. In fact, it is Adam and Eve’s task to name the animals which means that they did not create them and do not own their destiny, they are called to merely be their stewards. Any religion that does not understand those notions is not worthy of that name.

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