Infographic: An Interfaith Call for Climate Action
By Lauren Kokum
Religious leaders and people of faith have long believed that caring for creation and the planet’s precious resources is an issue of basic justice. Pope Francis articulated the moral crisis of climate change in his highly anticipated encyclical, “Laudato Si,” and environmental protection is a central tenet of many religions that call adherents to appreciate and care for the earth. From rabbis supporting wind power to Buddhists curbing carbon emissions to the interfaith action at last year’s People’s Climate March, people of faith are working to be responsible stewards of the environment and are advocating for policies that do the same.
Faith communities are especially concerned about the effects of climate change on people living in poverty. Problems such as hunger, lack of clean water, drought, flooding, social conflict, and forced migration are especially acute in impoverished communities across the globe that are, and will continue to be, most affected by climate change.
Lauren Kokum is the Special Assistant for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at American Progress. A Chicago native, Kokum holds a bachelor’s degree in political science—with concentrations in international relations and social witness ministry—from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. During her time as an undergraduate student, Kokum worked with various faith-based humanitarian organizations, as well as a four-year campus-wide fundraiser promoting equal access to primary education in Uganda. Directly prior to her new role at American Progress, Kokum spent a semester in Hope’s Washington Honor’s Semester program and was an intern for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative.
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