Mission life: THE KUKMIN DAILY

Pan-Denominational Response to Nuclear Energy and Climate Change: Christian Environmental Movement

2013-11-29 10:54

Pan-Denominational Response to Nuclear Energy and Climate Change: Christian Environmental Movement

What will be the next actions of Christian circles that have played a leading role in Korea’s green environmental movement? According to the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK), nuclear power and climate change are now recognized as global environmental problems; and the Christian environmental movement will respond to these through pan-denominational actions that include informing the public about the dangers, energy saving by the churches, and environmentally friendly lifestyles.

At the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Busan, NCCK presented its opinion that nuclear power plants are just as dangerous as nuclear weapons, and the WCC decided to take up this topic at next July’s Central Committee meeting. NCCK plans to join in solidarity with other religions in Korea to draw up agenda for environmental preservation, and to present this to the political circles for discussion. Because the environmental movement has already been active throughout civil society, Christian circles will emphasize the continuous development of the movement and the presentation of alternatives.

The Korea Christian Environmental Movement Solidarity for Integrity of Creation (KCEMS) currently is concentrating on two tasks: its response to climate change, and the making of 'green' churches. In relation to climate change, it is conducting a project to cultivate forests on devastated lands.

Additionally, since 2008 they have been producing 'kind songs' to encourage people to shift away from thinking that consumption and environmental destruction are a matter of course.

The Green Church movement, longest-running project of the KCEMS, which is based on the principle of “integrity of creation,” leads the churches in their 'green' practices, including “green churches,” “green stores,” measures to slow global warming, and illumination of crosses by solar energy or environmentally friendly lights.

Yang Jae-seon, Executive Director of KCEMS, says, “Environmental problems are interlocked with spiritual problems, so the churches need to avoid falling into materialism or mammonism. The churches have a calling to convey the divinity of Creation to non-Christian society.”

Reporter Sangmok Shin (smshin@kmib.co.kr), Marion Kim (marionkkim@icloud.com)

*This article is part of the series “Twenty Scenes that Changed Korean Church History.”

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