Christians to Take Part in Climate Crisis Protests
More than 100 Christians are expected to participate in climate crisis protests around the UK during late August and early September. Members of Christian Climate Action (CCA) will join with Extinction Rebellion and a number of other organisations as part of the September Rebellion, taking place from 28 August and themed around the slogan, ‘We Want to Live’.
- CCA, alongside a number of other faith groups, is organising Prayer Vigils in London, Cardiff and Great Malvern.
- The group is also organising an ‘At Home’ Vigil which people can participate in via Zoom.
- Local CCA groups will be joining and organising local actions around the country from 28 August and national actions in London, Manchester and Cardiff from 1September.
Melanie Nazareth, a barrister, mother of four and a CCA member, said, ‘Prayer is the foundation of everything we do in Christian Climate Action. It unites and sustains us and gives us the strength to act with loving purpose as we seek to be good stewards of God’s creation. In this vigil our prayers will help us to draw closer to God as we bear public witness to the message that God loves the creation that we are destroying.’
Community and Ecological Emergency Bill
One of the key demands of the protests will be that the UK parliament passes a Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill into law. This bill is calling for:
- A serious plan to deal with the UK’s fair share of emissions and to halt critical rises in global temperatures.
- Our entire carbon footprint to be taken into account, both in the UK and overseas.
- The active conservation and restoration of nature here and overseas, recognising the damage we cause through the goods we import.
- Those in power not to depend on future technologies to save the day; these technologies are being used as an excuse for us to carry on polluting.
- Ordinary people to have a real say on the right way forward in a Citizens’ Assembly with bite.
The CEE Bill has been developed with members of Extinction Rebellion, members of the successful Big Ask campaign that led to the Climate Change Act (2008) and Power for People. It has been written with contributions from prominent scientists and academics. The Bill has already received support from Kumi Naidoo, (International Executive Director of Greenpeace International (2009–2016) and Secretary General of Amnesty International (2018–2020).
Individuals can sign up to support the Bill here.
Why are Christians taking part?
Hannah Malcolm, an Anglican ordinand and member of CCA, said: ‘There is no uncritical time to face up to unfolding climate collapse, but the next six months hold a vital window for change as countries plan economic stimulus packages. If used well, these could accelerate global decarbonisation. Government responses to Coronavirus around the world have demonstrated that rapid, coordinated action is possible, and have also shown us the deadly consequences of indifference. The question is, do we have the courage to abandon the usual way of doing things in order to prevent further death and suffering, and to make way for life to flourish?’
Fr Martin Newell, a Catholic priest from Birmingham and member of CCA, explained why he is taking part: ‘We believe that being faithful means taking a stand on the biggest issue of our time. If you agree, please get involved – there’s lots of work to be done, both on the ground or from home if travelling isn’t viable. When Jesus said to James and John, “Follow me,” they stood up, dropped their fishing nets and did just that. As disciples of Christ, we are called to take action. Will you stand up and do what we are called to or will you remain in the boat?’
In 2018, Operation Noah produced a statement of our position on Extinction Rebellion. It can be read here.