Church in Brazil gives Lent environmental focus

Posted Feb 11, 2016

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Anglican Church in Brazil – the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil – has teamed up with its national ecumenical partners to focus on the environment in the run-up to Easter. In his Lent message, the Primate of Brazil, Archbishop Francisco de Assis da Silva, says that members of the National Council of Christian Churches in Brazil had adopted Our Common Home: Our Responsibility as their theme for their Lent reflections.

“This topic is a recurrent theme not only in the Anglican Communion but in the World Council of Churches, in the Orthodox Church, as well as in in other religions,” Archbishop da Silva says. “Our society is more and more concerned with the course our civilization is taking in terms of the sustainability of life.

“To take care of nature is to have proactive attitudes in the care of the environment, and it is an essential part of our witness as Anglicans. This is imperative for us as individuals, as well as communities, dioceses, and provinces.

“In order to confront the neglect of the environment, it requires that we exercise our civil duty as citizens that we demand from our political leaders the use of adequate resources to improve the quality of life of the people. This means to ask that the well-being of the society as a whole be prioritized instead of fostering a culture of profits for the sake of profiting.”

Archbishop da Silva said that a “lack of public policies regarding basic sanitation and waste Management” was the fundamental cause of the spread of the Zika and Chikungunya viruses, along with “the responsible way in which the sources and courses of our rivers and springs are managed.”

He continued: “All this could be overcome with education and public policies that take into consideration the preservation of the environment.”

He recommended the Anglican Communion Environmental Network’s Carbon Fast for Lent with its forty challenges to “reduce actions that damage God’s creation” along with daily scripture and prayer. “I recommend that these challenges be taken on by the whole Church,” he said. “These are simple steps and gestures that reduce carbon emissions, one of the main causes of the climate change.”