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Faith communities in Canada address climate change

[Ecumenical News International, Ottawa, Canada] Faith leaders, politicians and members of the public gathered in Ottawa from Oct. 23-24 to address global warming, responding to a broad interfaith effort to call attention to climate change as a moral issue.

The meeting highlighted a letter, titled the "Canadian Interfaith Call for Leadership and Action on Climate Change," signed by representatives of Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Baha'i and ecumenical groups, according to a news release from the Canadian Council of Churches, which organized the Ottawa event.

Responding to the letter, participants discussed the values necessary for a sustainable economy, the challenge of climate justice, and climate change "as the root of a spiritual crisis," according to the release. The letter was prepared for the U.N. Climate Change Conference, also called COP-17, to be held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9 in Durban, South Africa.

Panel discussions and dialogues featured speakers from such groups as the United Church of Canada, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the Program for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa, the Centre for Faith and Public Life, the Baha'i Community of Canada, Faith and the Common Good and the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches.

The Canadian Council of Churches' membership includes 23 denominations from the Anglican, Catholic, Evangelical, Historic Reform, Free Church and Eastern and Oriental Orthodox traditions, representing 85 percent of Canadian Christians.

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