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World Council of Churches supports All Hallows REACH initiative

copyright Peter Williams/WCC

"For many years now, the WCC has taken the integrity of creation as a major theological and social issue. It is significant that we include this work under the wider title of justice, peace and the integrity of creation for our view is that the environment is about people, justice and peace as well as about caring for all that God has created.

"It is for this reason that I am writing in support of the REACH legislation now in front of the EU. From a theological perspective, REACH is about attempting to restore a proper respect and balance for the wonderful harmonies of creation. This vision was well expressed by the World Council of Churches in the statement from the meeting in Granvollen, Norway, which said:

"Creation came into being by the will and love of the Triune God and as such possesses an inner cohesion and goodness. Though human eyes may not always discern it, every creature and the whole creation in chorus bear witness of the glorious unity and harmony with which creation is endowed."

"It is for this reason that we support the ARC/WWF initiative, which bluntly confronts us with the fact that the chemicals we have unleashed are threatening the very unity and harmony, indeed the very integrity of creation itself. This is something that Christians cannot be passive about for it is an assault upon the loving creation of God.

"We urge all Christians to make use of the prayers and liturgy specially created to focus our theological reflections on this crucial issue. We particularly recommend there use during the festivals of All Saints and Advent, times when the Church has traditionally looked at its vision of the unity and purpose of all life, linked through the unity of creation in God.

"REACH is at last a European recognition of the fact that we stand on the edge of terrible disruption of creation and of our own human communities. We note especially the risk to the most vulnerable in society, the young, mothers, the elderly and the poor. This is why for us it is justice, peace and the integrity of creation, which lie at the heart of this issue.

"In 1990, the WCC adopted a series of Affirmations concerning justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Let me close by quoting part of Affirmation VII:

"We will resist the claim that anything in creation is merely a resource for human exploitation. We will resist species extinction for human benefit; consumerism and harmful mass production; pollution of the land, air and waters; all human activities which are now leading to probable rapid climate change; and the policies and plans which contribute to the disintegration of creation."

Signed by Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia

General Secretary

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