- 25 November 2013
Young evangelicals see “moral imperative” to speak out on climate
Deborah Fikes serves as the Representative to the United Nations for World Evangelical Alliance one of the world's largest religious representative bodies consisting of over 600 million constituents globally. She also serves as an Executive Advisor to World Evangelical Alliance and is a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals.
She spoke at the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC in September 2012 on young evangelicals’ response to climate change.
“It’s an honor to be here today. The constituency that I represent, the World Evangelical Alliance, has 750 million people around the world and we are in 129 countries. [In most] of those 129 countries, climate change is not a controversial issue, as it is in the United States.
"The United States is the only country that I work in where this issue has been so controversial and so politicized. In the United States there are 100 million evangelicals, and there is a lot of diversity within that group. What you hear mostly in the media are evangelicals that are very opposed to climate change advocacy, and there’s a lot of truth to that. It has been very discouraging and very challenging to work with my generation on this issue.
"But I do have good news. And the good news is that younger evangelicals in the US really get this issue. It resonates with them. They see it as a moral imperative that we speak out because not only is it good for our own self-interest, national security here in the US, but it is also part of our faith of loving our neighbors as ourselves.
"The younger generation of evangelicals is challenging their clergy. They’re asking them: “How can you take the Bible literally, and follow the command of Christ to love your neighbor as yourself, but yet not be involved in this issue that’s going to affect the least of these - the poorest of the poor who are least able to deal and adapt with how it will affect them in negative ways?”
"So, I’m encouraged that this election season you’re going to hear more from these evangelicals. I’m advising several networks and we’ll be at the Presidential debates. And the campaign that they have named their movement is Green the Golden Rule. And I’ve been a part of these evangelicals constructing a huge banner – like a giant quilt made out of recycled clothing that is 30 feet by 30 feet. We plan to be in Denver. We plan to be Boca Raton. We plan to be in Kentucky. We plan to be in New York. And they are going to be asking both Presidential candidates: “What are you going to do in a [Presidential] administration that will be a moral voice for helping the third-world countries that we want to reach out and help through our missionaries, and through other ministries that we are involved with in humanitarian efforts?”
"So I hope today is the beginning of more people from my constituency becoming involved in the Clean Revolution.
And thank you for letting me be here today with you.”
Watch the speech recorded live at Climate Week NYC:
Read Deborah Fikes' op-ed in the Christian Post.