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Christians join Extinction Rebellion

by Cara Bentley

The group Christian Climate Action are among the Extinction Rebellion protesters today in London, blocking Parliament Square, right outside Big Ben. 

Ruth Jarman from the group told Premier: "We're basically declaring a climate emergency and we're calling on the government to respond to the scientists.

"The head of the UN said in September the world has two years to turn its economy around to a stat that supports life on earth, otherwise we could be facing our own extinction. This wasn't a tree-hugger like me who said that, that was the Head of the UN who really knows what's going on."

She added:"There has been no response from this government as far as I can see.

"They're making the economy the number one thing...and it's having policies that put economic growth above everything else. It's like an idol, it's like putting mammon before God, I think, because it's putting economy and growth before the ability to have a liveable planet."

When asked what makes the group distinctly Christian, Ruth replied: "We pray before the meetings, during the meetings, before every action - we've just prayed now together so it's a bit of public witness as well."

"We feel called by God to protect creation...God told Adam to care and preserve the garden so we think its a particularly Christian activity to protect God's creation. We're the ones who believe it's God's creation, we're the ones who believe it's there for God and not for humans to use and abuse so I think Christians should be leading this movement."

She said there had been Christians involved right from the start of the Extinction Rebellion.

Jim Green, a retired supply teacher who attends a church in Norwich was also in London with Christian Climate Action for the rebellion: "I've been supporting environmental concerns for a long time."

He explained how when he visited Uganda people described how climate change was affecting them now. 

He said: "It feels for me a very simple my attempt to follow Jesus how do I love my neighbour? And if I see my neighbour suffering now or in the future I need to do something to try to address that,

"However feeble it may be, I need to try and address it and not run away from it."

Jim said there was a good atmosphere and friendly relations with the police on the protest. 

He referred to the fact that the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, signed a letter in The Guardian last month supporting action being taken. 

"I think if Rowan Williams says it, I can go along with it as well".

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