Sacred People, Sacred Earth

From coast to coast to coast, Canadian faith groups will raise their voices tomorrow, joining the biggest ever faith-based global climate day of action 

Ceded and Unceded Territories/Vancouver/Regina/Toronto/Montreal/Halifax & more – Across Canada on Thursday March 11 people of faith and conscience will raise their voices as part of a global, faith-led, climate day of action. 

Canada is among 38 countries participating in the global day of action called Sacred People, Sacred Earth, which sounds the alarm for climate justice, and demands action from government and financial institutions. At least 10 actions are planned across the country and 300 actions are planned around the world, from teach-ins, to protests, by cities as far across the globe as Nairobi, New Delhi, Santiago, Paris, Sydney, Jakarta, and New York. 

In Canada, a diverse range of digital and in-person Covid-safe actions are taking place in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Regina, Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Saint-Jerome, and Halifax. 

The global day of action is organized by GreenFaith International Network. Faith & the Common Good (FCG), Canada’s only nation-wide interfaith environmental network, is a founding member of GreenFaith International Network, along with partners from 14 countries.

“Across all religions and spiritual philosophies, the teachings are clear,” Faith & the Common Good’s Executive Director Rev. Michelle Singh says, “We must take care of one another, and of Creation, because the Earth and all living beings and species are sacred. With Canada expected to announce a new emissions reduction target in the lead up to the global climate leaders summit on April 22, it’s important Canadian faith communities raise their voices and call for ambitious climate action.” 

“Our faith in goodness allows us to envision a world in which humanity in all its diversity has developed a shared reverence for life on Earth,” said Christine Thuring, Vancouver GreenFaith coordinator. “We envision a future in which the era of conquest, extraction, and exploitation has given way to cooperation and community. Yet, across the world, more and more people are experiencing climate-fuelled disasters first-hand. Here in BC, we are witnessing the deliberate continuation of genocide in the name of corporate profit and a form of capitalism that will never trickle down.”

Across Canada, events include:

  • In Vancouver, at 11 am PST a multi-faith Covid-safe prayer circle will hold vigil outside the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change demanding Canada end all fossil fuel subsidies and return Indigenous territories to original stewards. The vigil will involve meditation and prayer, singing and mantra, bells, and rituals from faith traditions including Buddhism, Christianity, Quakerism and First Nations. The ceremony will be broadcast live via Zoom and Facebook
  • In Regina, a virtual choir, led by Laura Stewart, will join musicians with friends and supporters from Canada, the U.S. and Germany in a call for bold faith community leadership. 
  • The Halifax Shambhala Centre will host 108 Gongs and Lhasang ceremony for Sacred Earth Sacred People.
  • In Toronto, Greening Canadian Mosques launches in partnership with Faith & the Common Good. The program enables mosques in Canada to receive resources and support to adopt environmental sustainability operations in their facilities, reduce their operating costs and promote environmental stewardship in the community

    “Mosques, like other places of worship, have a massive potential to champion sustainability among congregation communities, to lead the process, to inspire, to instill a sense of responsibility towards nature and its many bounties as inscribed by Islamic values,” says Areej Riaz, Director of Climate Programs, EnviroMuslims. (Mosque management and imams are invited to sign up for the program via enviromuslims@gmail.com)
  • In Nanaimo, at 11 am PST, eight faith communities — including Bethlehem Centre, Brechin United, Cedar United, First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, St. Paul’s Anglican, Unity Spiritual Education Centre, Nanaimo Buddhist Meditation Group, and the Society of Friends — will create a Covid-safe display of trees and shrubs on the steps of Maffeo Sutton Park in downtown Nanaimo. The display will highlight the need for further actions to green Nanaimo. Afterwards, the plants will be delivered to the city parks yard to be used in restoration projects.  
  • Montreal City Mission will host a virtual zoom gathering, where representatives from local faith communities will share words of greeting, hold a group reflection on the ‘Sacred People, Sacred Earth’ official statement and discuss ways to support one another in taking further action for climate justice.  

For a map of actions across Canada and around the world, visit https://greenfaith.org/take-action/sacred-people-sacred-earth/

For media inquiries, contact:  

Michelle Singh, Executive Director, Faith & the Common Good, msingh@faithcommongood.org c: +1.416.895.3932

In Vancouver: Christine Thuring: 604.725.4964

In Toronto: Areej Riaz, Director of Climate Programs, EnviroMuslims, enviromuslims@gmail.com

In Nanaimo: Julia M. Roberts, Nanaimo Greenfaith Circle 250-754-0602, nanaimogreenfaith@gmail.com

Get Involved in the Sacred People Sacred Earth campaign.

Globally, human-made, climate-fueled disasters such as droughts, floods, fires, and hurricanes are displacing and impoverishing millions of people; climate breakdown is contributing to the sixth mass extinction of species. The pandemic is worsening these impacts on the most vulnerable communities. Please join the hundreds of faith communities around the world in taking action by:

  1. Getting involved in the SacredPeopleSacredEarth campaign: https://greenfaith.org/take-action/sacred-people-sacred-earth/
  1. Sign the Sacred People, Sacred Earth Statement https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sacred-people-sacred-earth-sign-the-multi-faith-climate-statement?source=direct_link&
  1. Register Your Event with GreenFaith: https://greenfaith.org/googleformspse/, https://greenfaith.org/take-action/greenfaith-international-network-our-ten-demands/