Council members of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) expressed solidarity with the people most affected by climate change and severe weather events by joining in the Fast for the Climate campaign and calling upon the Lutheran Communion to join the campaign. More than 100 people, LWF Council members, observers and staff, fasted lunch on Friday, 13. June 2014. With this symbolic action, LWF underlines the urgency of a concrete international agreement for climate justice.
The interfaith campaign “Fasting for the Climate” was initiated by the LWF delegation at the UN Climate Conference (COP19) meeting in Warsaw, Poland in 2013. At that conference, delegate Yep Sano, whose family in the Phillipines had been severely by typhoon Haiyan, started fasting to urge for climate action. The interfaith campaign has been taken up worldwide, with people fasting on the first day of the month. “There are thousands supporting that action worldwide, and our numbers are growing,” LWF vice-president Bishop Dr. h.c. Frank-Otfried July said. “We will fast every month – until the start of the UN climate conference in Lima in December 2014.
“We call to voluntarily fast for the climate for those who are able to. It is a call to join in solidarity with all those with deep hunger for both: food and change, both rooted in climate justice today” LWF vice-president for Africa, presiding Bishop Alex G. Malasusa said, adding that for many people, fasting is not a choice because they are “imposed to starvation every day”.
“We understand it as a moral responsibility to build awareness for climate justice,” Council member Warime Guti from Papua New Guinea said. He indirectly referred to the call by UN Executive Secretary Christina Figueres who recently urged religious institutions worldwide to “find their voice and set their moral compass on one of the great humanitarian issues of our time”.
LWF has been advocating for climate justice on a global level since the LWF Assembly 2010 in Stuttgart, Germany. Bishop Tamas Fabiny, LWF vice-president for Central Eastern Europe, called upon governments and leaders to act for climate justice. “Being citizens of this world we need to speak about about their climate change politics”. LWF would not stop advocating for climate justice. LWF president Bishop Munib A. Younan closed the fasting action with a prayer, recalling the spiritual dimension of fasting.