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Background

Drought and famine in East Africa, landslides in Malaysia, and torrential rains in Nicaragua – an initial listing of recent natural disasters – leave us heartbroken for those most affected: the poor. We rally behind relief efforts and support on-the-ground disaster teams, but we recognize the inadequacy of our response. We are concerned about projections that environmental changes, including more severe natural disasters, threaten the lives and well-being of more and more people, and particularly the extreme poor.

 

With this in mind, the NAE asked some Christian sisters and brothers to share their knowledge and experience regarding the relationship between the changing environment and poverty. Dorothy Boorse, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at Gordon College, analyzed the scientific data, collected reports from development workers, and summarized the reflections of theologians to create a discussion paper, "Loving the Least of These: Addressing a Changing Environment." The document was reviewed by two dozen Bible scholars, professors and evangelical leaders. The result is a resource that we hope will inspire serious conversation among evangelicals on this important topic, regardless of their views on climate change.

 

What's Next

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We hope "Loving the Least of These" will be a useful tool for the evangelical community in considering how to respond to the biblical mandates to care for creation and for the poor. In particular, the NAE wants to move the discussion to local churches, Christian college students, and supporters of missions and relief and development organizations. You are a stakeholder in the document's success. Help us spread the word about this document and get the conversation going.


For further study:

» Read the recommendations from the Christian Reformed Church's Creation Stewardship Task Force. Their extensive 2012 report can be read here.
» Learn about Messiah College's Creation Care Study Abroad program.  

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