German Church encourages people to strike for the climate
The Protestant Church of Germany (EKD) calls citizens to support the climate strike, which will take place coming Friday, September 15th. It is time to act, the EKD believes. However, not everyone is happy with the green development of the Church.
“Unchecked global warming jeopardises the condition of the possibility of human life”, warns EKD Council Chairwoman Annette Kurschus, as reported by PRO. Therefore, the EKD wants to take a decisive stance against climate change so that future generations can have the same welfare. "To achieve this, we can and must do everything within our own means now. For the sake of God and people", she concluded.
Furthermore, the EKD representative for creation responsibility, Kristina Kühnbaum-Schmidt, emphasises the urgency of the problem. "Together we must do everything to limit this global challenge, as God's children and as human siblings", she says in a video message. Even though the church has worked against climate change for several years already, it must do even more to achieve its goal of being climate-neutral in 2035. "The time to act is now."
During the climate strike on Friday, the President of the EKD Synod, Anna-Nicole Heinrich, will also take part of a church service in the Nuremberg Church of St. Lorenz, Evangelische Zeitung writes. "Our churches can be refuelling places where we provide the hope and confidence needed to halt the destruction of our planet," Heinrich said. Some regional churches and other climate initiatives from the Church, such as Churches for Future," will take part in the demonstration with banners.
However, not everyone is happy with the climate actions of the church. Viennese theologian Jan-Heiner Tucker speaks out against alliances between churches and climate organisations such as "Letzen Generation" (Last Generation). Although he believes that climate change is a severe issue, Tucker rejects the climate demonstrations as "they risk harming others if they become widespread."
Therefore, he pleads for churches to raise awareness instead, "both systematically with regard to industry and the economy and personally with regard to the behaviour of the individual."
However, Tucker argues that the pulpit is not the place for politicisation. "It is the place to translate the Gospel into this time and to remember the responsibility before God, the Creator. This has consequences for lifestyle. However, the pulpit is not the political lectern from which rules for environmentally friendly actions are issued. That would be out of place in church services", he says to Religion.orf.
Consistent with that, theological terms should not be used for political goals, Tucker argues. Therefore, terms such as "environmental sinner", "Climate hell", and "indulgence" should only be reserved for theological topics. Concepts of repentance, responsibility and justice should be put back into focus, the theologian argues.
Also, certain rituals should not be used for political ends, Tucker asserts. Therefore, he is opposed to actions like the recent "glacier funeral" in Carinthia. He explained that "requiems for glaciers are theologically sensitive." "They are for persons whose names are commended to the memory of God; they have an Easter dimension and are inspired by the hope that the deceased will find eternal life with God. That cannot be transferred to 'dying glaciers'."
Column from Germany – Suffering from the heat is our own fault
“Hot outside? Cool down in church”