INDONESIA: Indigenous Batak Christians fight back against lake pollution
The Batak Church of Sumatra is a fascinating blend of the Batak indigenous culture with a vibrant Christianity. As such, the theology and practice of the Church is dynamically grounded in a deep respect for the natural world.
Building upon this, the Church has created a major new programme aimed at engaging Batak society in protecting the environment. The actions undertaken in this Sacred Gift range from: a campaign to tackle pollution caused by logging and factories on nearby Lake Toba; protection of their local national park; work on combating soil erosion caused by deforestation; and the creation of a new post of Environment Officer for the Church.
All these practical actions are backed by workshops, sermons, educational resources and specific Church-run projects, which build awareness of key environmental problems.
The Church’s actions are not only significant for the local area but are also a model for other Churches in Indonesia.