French Protestant supports creation care, but opposes it as “a new religion”
Evangelical Christians pay more attention to environmental care than the average French population. A large majority of Christians see themselves as "the guardians of creation" who must "do their utmost to look after it for themselves and future generations."
A recent survey in France demonstrates that Christians who practice their faith faithfully are more dedicated to environmental issues than their non-religious fellow citizens, Evangelical Focus writes.
Of those who are practising Protestants, nine in ten have spoken about the degradation of the environment with people in their surroundings. An additional 56 per cent have spoken out about the issue online.
Christians seem to be more aware of climate change than others, research from Ifop on behalf of the Christian climate organisations A Rocha and Parlons Climat shows. According to Evangelical Focus, the study is unique as it is the first that analyses the opinions of Catholic and Protestant Christians who practice their faith. More than half of the respondents identified themselves as Evangelical Christians.
Almost a quarter of the Protestant respondents said they have participated in a climate demonstration at least once. Also, 21 per cent marched for the climate, and more than 75 per cent of the Protestant Christians supported these marches. Compared to the rest of the French society, this engagement rate is three times as high. Of the average non-religious population, 7 per cent joined local initiatives, and 6 per cent participated in a climate march, the survey shows.
At the same time, the opinions on the cause of climate change are very diverse among Protestant Christians. Although a majority believes that climate change is the result of human actions (63 per cent), 21 per cent believe that it is a natural phenomenon, and 13 per cent indicated that it "is impossible to know its origin."
Especially Protestants (58 per cent) want their church to speak out more about ecological issues. However, there is also a staunch minority of 15 per cent that is categorically against including the climate in the sermon.
Despite the fact that religious people are more interested in climate issues, they rarely connect their faith to their opinions on the environment. Only 20 per cent of Catholics and 27 per cent of Protestants say to do so. Nevertheless, almost all respondents believed that taking care of the planet is also taking care of one's neighbours, and more than 70 per cent believe that the Bible encourages people to preserve creation.
Overall, however, half of the Protestants believe that God will create a new earth at the end of times. Therefore, they indicated that "it is a priority to save souls." A total of 44 per cent agree that environmentalism is growing into a new religion that "sacralises nature and denies the central place of humans in creation."
To equip Christians with a Biblical perspective on why action against climate change is so important, the French Christian organisation A Rocha has launched a website called [Questions of Faith and Ecology](https://www.questions-foi-ecologie.fr/. To people who wonder why they should reduce their consumerism, for example, the website writes that as Christians, "we are called to behave responsibly towards creation and to adopt a humble and more sober behaviour regarding the situation of the current climate crisis."
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