The Catholic University of America


Preservation of the Planet is a Religious Duty, Too


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Climatologists and environmentalists often warn of the myriad dangers associated with shoddy care of the planet.

Although it gets less ink, most major religions make the same point, disseminated through centuries of reflective teaching and writing.
Islam and Christianity, among other faiths, have a lot to say about the care and preservation of the environment, as an audience at the Columbus School of Law was reminded of on Feb. 7 by Professor Ibrahim Saleh K. Al-Naimi, (above) chair of the Board of Directors, Doha Interfaith Center for International Dialogue and the former president of Qatar University.
In his remarks, “Religion and the Environment,” Al-Naimi quoted liberally from the Koran on the topic. He summarized its key teachings on the necessity of nurturing green plant and tree life, having clean water, and of protecting animal species and resources.
The prophet Muhammad taught that “protection of the earth draws people closer to God,” said Al-Naimi, who pointed out that a number of passages found in the Old Testament of the Christian bible, including some from the Book of Genesis, say essentially the same thing.
The Abrahamic faiths concur that a verdant and healthy earth is a symbol of God’s love, said the professor, and they also agree that “war will definitely destroy the land.”
Al-Naimi’s address was sponsored by Catholic University’s Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion, the Institute for Interreligious Study and Dialogue, and the Center for Interreligious Understanding.