A majority of American Christians believe they have a responsibility for the Earth, but a large part don’t agree that climate change is a big deal.
That’s according to Pew Research, who published a comprehensive report on religious Americans’ opinions on the intersection of faith and the environment in the U.S. Of those surveyed, an overwhelming majority agreed that they had a sense of stewardship — completely or mostly agreeing with the idea that “God gave humans a duty to protect and care for the Earth, including the plants and animals.” However, less than half of self-identified highly religious participants agreed that climate change is a major problem.
Two-thirds of U.S. adults who identify with a religious group say their faith has multiple lessons on taking care of environment, and 42 percent say they have prayed for the environment in the past year. And yet, the topic of climate change is where many draw a line in the sand.
In fact, 38 percent of evangelicals argue that the environment is in God’s hands and therefore we don’t need to worry about it. But since the beginning, God has instructed His people to take car of the Earth — the very gift He spent time creating and crafting for His children. God is in control of all things, surely, but He has invited us in to be caretakers of the environment, too.
Not all hope is lost, though. Most Americans (57 percent) expressed a willingness to make sacrifices in the way they live if it could help future generations, including 60% of religiously unaffiliated adults and roughly half of evangelical and mainline Protestants. It will take more than most, though, to address the major problems future generations will face in the fight against climate change.
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