No matter what religion you practice or what your opinions are on religion, it is indesputable that millions around the world look up to religious leaders for guidance. That is one reason it is crucial that more religious leaders speak out on behalf of conservation. Fortunately, more leaders are taking this approach, especially in Africa as they witness elephants and rhinos disappearing. From the San Diego Tribune:
“Hamza Mutunu, a Muslim leader from Tanzania, argued for the animals.
“The general message is that taking care of the wildlife is part and parcel with our religion,” he said. “We have a duty from the Prophet Mohammed. … Taking care of wildlife is within our religion.”
Preetika Bhanderi, who is with the Hindu Council of Africa, said: ‘Hindu’s backbone is non-violence toward everything that has life. That means animals, and people, of course.’
Charles Odira, a Catholic priest from Kenya, said religious leaders can help spread the message effectively given the moral authority and standing they have in African communities.
‘Just as when we talk about Jesus Christ, when we say (from the pulpit) that animals are part of God’s community, an impact will be made,’ he said.”
Religious leaders are often the local educators, and the more they can raise awareness about conservation, the better. Conservation is a moral issue, one that can easily be incorporated into religious teachings around the world.
Photo: street sign in Thailand