(RNS) From Christians in Hawaii to Buddhists in Connecticut, and from Jews in New York to Muslims in Wisconsin, people of all walks of faith are finding a myriad of ways to care for the environment, according to a first-of-it-kind report from the Sierra Club.
According to the report, "Faith in Action: Communities of Faith Bring Hope for the Planet" 67 percent of Americans said they care about the environment because it is God's creation.
Highlighting faith-based environmental initiatives in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the report praises the "breadth, depth and diversity of spiritually motivated grassroots efforts to protect the planet."
The 36-page report highlights different programs, from Episcopalians working to restrict oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to a large-scale recycling program at a Southern Baptist megachurch near Orlando, Fla.
The report said faith communities are leading a new eco-conscious wave that is rolling across the nation, "greening" all areas of religious and secular life. Reducing their carbon emissions, protecting endangered species and launching energy awareness campaigns are just some of the efforts being made.
"Many years ago, when this cub reporter was covering religion, the first edition of a brave, feisty, independent publication called National Catholic Reporter showed up at my desk. From that day forward, NCR became my template for excellent reporting. It has become one of my trusted spiritual guides, as well."
- NCR contributor
The report is the latest indicator of a fledgling alliance between environmental groups and religious institutions, even as some conservative religious groups remain skeptical about the causes and concerns over climate change.
"Lasting social change rarely takes place without the active engagement of communities of faith," the report said.