An interfaith imperative that brings together over 30 leaders from major world religions, including the World Evangelical Alliance, has launched a call to action to end extreme poverty by 2030 and tackle issues such as climate change.
“What does it mean for the Church to understand that God loves all the world?” asked Christine MacMillan, WEA’s director for public engagement, in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Friday.
“There are two questions that you cannot change the answer to for yourself, or anybody else: Who your parents are, and where were you born. And the answer to those questions for some people in this world is devastating. We need to acknowledge that we do not live on an equal plane on this Earth, and God gives us a challenge to create some form of equality by loving our neighbors as ourselves.”
The “Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative,” which is backed by the World Bank Group, calls on world governments to work on developing a sustainable agenda that will look to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.
The imperative noted that the world has marked significant progress on this mission in the past 25 years, with the number of people living in extreme poverty going down from nearly 2 billion to less than 1 billion today.
“What we discovered is that resources need to be handled with an ethic. When there are resources on the table, people can take them for themselves, or they can put them to good use for the greater community,” MacMillan, who was sitting at the table of the World Bank meeting earlier this week, told CP.
The document outlines in its shared moral imperative that mitigating climate change will be key to ending extreme poverty, and asserts that climate change disproportionately hurts people living in poverty.
MacMillan said she spent three years leading the Salvation Army in Papua New Guinea, where, she said, people experience the devastating effects of climate change first hand.
“I am aware that when a tidal wave hits Papua New Guinea, it decimates, it takes lives, and it sweeps children out into the ocean, and it decimates their homes. When you talk about climate change in Papua New Guinea, they absolutely understand it, because they experience it.
The WEA’s Director for Public Engagement argued that although Americans have also suffered the consequences of climate change, she wonders if some lack the experience to truly understand the devastating impact it has for others around the world.
“I’m wondering if people who hear the word ‘climate change’ think scientists in white coats working in labs, and it doesn’t effect them?” she asked. “I’m wondering if the spokespeople for climate change need to be people with [such] experience?”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post