Faith communities #PrayForOurPacific
People from different religions across 22 countries heeded the call to Pray For Our Pacific. They joined in prayer over the weekend with other people of faith in solidarity with Pacific Islanders on the frontline of climate change.
The groups responded to a call from Pacific Islanders to engage faith communities around the world, stepping up to the shared global responsibilities of protecting the environment. Gatherings have been held from September 2 and culminated on Sunday September 11.
“We cannot build a Pacific Climate Movement without engaging our faith communities. Faith is pivotal to our people, and like the ocean, it connects us. In the face of the climate crisis, we need prayer to carry our people and faith to build resilience,” said Koreti Tiumalu, 350.org Pacific Coordinator.
Services were organised around Australia in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and northern NSW, as well as in American Samoa, Cameroon, Canada, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Germany, Niue, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, the United States and Vanuatu.
Faith communities, mainly Christian, mobilised in a compassionate response to the impacts of record-breaking cyclones and to sea level rise, which is already forcing the evacuation of thousands from atolls to Australia’s north.
“People in villages scattered across the Pacific and other low-lying lands are suffering from the results of the decisions and lifestyles of others in lands far away,” said Reverend Alimoni Taumoepeau, the Uniting Church Minister at Strathfield, which hosted Pray For Our Pacific events on Sunday, September 11. “This is an injustice. More than that, when the sea has swamped their land, there is no high ground to which they can flee. This is terrifying.”
“People of faith have a long history of praying for, and standing in solidarity with, people on the receiving end of injustice. Pray For Our Pacific has really struck a chord with us.”
(Pictured) Pacific Islanders in Rome Pray For Our Pacific