By Robin Gomes
The Christians of Bangladesh resolved to work together during a webinar on Wednesday, organized jointly by the Episcopal Justice and Peace Commission (ECJP) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB) and World Vision Bangladesh, a Christian charity organization.
Caring for creation
Some 80 religious and organization leaders from various Christian denominations took part in more than two hours of virtual discussions on the theme, “Interdenominational Dialogue on the Season of Creation - Preventing Climate Change and Disaster”.
The initiative was part of the current “Season of Creation”, September 1 to October 4, a campaign of prayer and concrete action by Christian Churches worldwide to safeguard and improve the created world.
The webinar participants pledged to promote prayer and fellowship among Christian denominations, organizations and communities to initiate collective action to care for the environment and tackle the harmful consequences resulting from climate change and natural disasters.
In his presentation, ECJP president, Bishop Gervas Rozario pointed out that God created the world and enjoined humanity with the responsibility of taking care of it. But man has misused it in many ways, which is why so many disasters are befalling us all. “Stop now, no more harm,” the bishop said, adding, “The time has come to love the creation of God more with our heart and soul.” “We have a responsibility to pass on a good earth to future generations. If we fail, they will blame us for ruining God’s creation," Bishop Rozario said.
Reverend John S. Karmokar, assistant general secretary of Bangladesh Baptist Church Sangha, pointed out that even though Christians in the country are a small community, they can play “a vital role in preserving the environment”. “If we work together and share our thoughts,” he said, “our programmes and actions will be stronger and more effective,” he told the seminar.
He said other Christian communities can learn much from the Catholic Church and some Christian NGOs that are greatly involved in the love and care of the environment.
Catholic Church – planting 400,000 trees
On September 1, the CBCB launched a campaign to plant 400,000 trees across the country during the current the Special “Laudato Si’” Anniversary Year, in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’” - On Care for our Common Home.
The campaign also intends to mark 50 years of the country’s independence next year, as well as the birth centenary this year of the founding father of the nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Climate change and low-lying Bangladesh
Climate change, floods, river erosion, cyclones and other related phenomena are sensitive issues for low-lying Bangladesh, which sits on the floodplains of the world's largest river delta system that empties into the Bay of Bengal.
Climate scientists say the nation of more than 160 million is one of the riskiest places in the world for predicted sea-level rise due to the melting of polar icebergs as a result of global warming and other impacts of climate change. (Source: UCA News)