Religious Leaders Statement on Wilderness and Public Lands

The land shall not be sold in perpetuity for the land is mine;
with me you are but aliens and tenants.
Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land.
– Leviticus 25: 23-24

As people of faith, we see Creation as the glorious work of God. The wildlands and ecosystems throughout the United States provide congregations and communities the opportunity to experience God and to dwell in the beauty of all that God called “good.” God’s lands nourish life, provide the foundation of terrestrial ecosystems and human communities, supply blessings of sustenance like soil, water, timber and minerals, and offer natural space for prayer and spiritual renewal. Stewardship of the land and wild places God has entrusted to our care is a critical part of our call to protect Creation.

As these threats to God's gifts become more pronounced, our call to continue conservation of God’s sacred spaces becomes more immediate.

Preserving public lands helps us answer God's call to equality among people by providing shared resources that nurture our communities. Public lands and wilderness are central to biodiversity, native communities, maintaining the diverse ecosystems that God created, and providing the space for faithful reflection and rejuvenation. Overlooking the importance of these spaces and places disregards the role that land and wilderness have had in revealing the mysteries and wonders of God and the Holy Spirit as well as the needs of future generations.

We believe we can and should retain wildlands and public lands as places of intimate connection with God for all generations and protect these vital and irreplaceable pieces of God’s Creation.

- from the National Council of Churches

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