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28 November 2021
The Salvation Army’s new International Positional Statement, ‘Caring for the Environment’, sets out a strongly worded description of the many ways God’s creation has suffered catastrophic damage from human actions.
The statement, recently released by The Salvation Army’s world leader, General Brian Peddle, pledges to foster a “culture of sustainability” and calls for immediate action to address and combat “environmental degradation”.
The statement lists environmental degradation as one of the most pressing issues facing the world: “Its effects fall disproportionally on the most vulnerable, particularly in terms of health, livelihood, shelter and the opportunity to make choices. The very survival of humanity depends on the health of the whole ecosystem.”
The statement commits the Salvos to sustainable environmental practices: “In addition to being compelled by the lived experience, The Salvation Army also accepts the scientific evidence that demands action on all levels.”
General Peddle called on all Salvos and friends to “make adjustments in lifestyle and comforts” and “positively declare your part in the stewardship of the earth … Striking the right balance between our needs and what is sustainable must catch the attention of every Salvo.”
What the statement terms as “the over-reliance on and excessive use” of carbon-based fuels is highlighted, although it stresses that “environmental degradation” is about more than energy issues, indicating it also has an impact on factors such as food and water insecurity, poverty and migration.
The scriptural basis for the position is also laid out in detail.
The statement concludes with a series of suggested practical responses through which the Salvos seek “to foster a culture of sustainability with a focus on long-term environmental solutions".
All 20 International Positional Statements are available to read in full here.
Edited from a report from the International Headquarters Communications Department.