September 11, 2016

Faith communities Pray For Our Pacific

Sydney, Sunday September 11, 2016:  People from different religions across 22 countries are heeding the call to Pray For Our Pacific. They are joining in prayer with other people of faith in solidarity with Pacific Islanders on the frontline of climate change.   The groups have responded to a call from Pacific Islanders to engage faith communities around the world, stepping up to the shared global responsibilities of protecting the environment. Gatherings have been held from September 2 and culminate on Sunday September 11.    “We cannot build a Pacific Climate Movement without engaging our faith communities. Faith is pivotal to our people, and like the ocean, it connects us. In the face of the climate crisis, we need prayer to carry our people and faith to build resilience,” said Koreti Tiumalu, Pacific Coordinator. Services have been organised around Australia in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and northern NSW, as well as in American Samoa, Cameroon, Canada, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Germany, Niue, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, the United States and Vanuatu.   Faith communities, mainly Christian, are mobilising in a compassionate response to the impacts of record-breaking cyclones and to sea level rise, which is already forcing the evacuation of thousands from atolls to Australia’s north. “People in villages scattered across the Pacific and other low-lying lands are suffering from the results of the decisions and lifestyles of others in lands far away,” said Reverend Alimoni Taumoepeau, the Uniting Church Minister at Strathfield, which is hosting Pray For Our Pacific events today. “This is an injustice. More than that, when the sea has swamped their land, there is no high ground to which they can flee. This is terrifying.” “People of faith have a long history of praying for, and standing in solidarity with, people on the receiving end of injustice. Pray For Our Pacific has really struck a chord with us.”

HASHTAG: #prayforourpacific
FOR INTERVIEWS:   Koreti Mavaega Tiumalu, Pacific organiser Pray for our Pacific, in New Zealand on  +64 21 0561304 Joseph Zane Sikulu, Pacific in Sydney on 0406 272 945 Rev  Alimoni Taumoepeau, the Uniting Church, Strathfield 0407 613 991 Thea Omerrod Australian Religious Response to Climate Change 0405 293 466
FOR MEDIA ASSISTANCE: Louise Fraser Media officer 0438 993 068