Interfaith vigil held for Stop Adani day of action

Faith communities joined a nationwide day of action on the weekend of October 7 and 8, against Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine. They held a multi-faith prayer and meditation vigil at the Coal Centre for Sustainability in opposition to the mega-mine, and in support of people who are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The gathering was organised by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) and the Sydney Buddhist Centre.

Vigil participants at the Coal Centre for Sustainability. Photo: Clayton Hairs
Vigil participants at the Coal Centre for Sustainability. Photo: Clayton Hairs

The vigil was attended by a small crowd of 60 people. Practicing Catholic and President of ARRCC, Thea Ormerod, said: “The symbolism is important as the centre has an historical connection to coal but now supports sustainability. Coal belongs to history. Renewable, non-polluting energy is our future.”

“This mine would be truly immoral. It would lead to staggering amounts of carbon pollution, it would damage ecosystems while not even creating many jobs,” Ms Ormerod said.

As Adani pledges to start work, a groundswell of community opposition is building in a way which hasn’t been seen since the Franklin Dam protests in 1983.

People of faith also participated in dozens of events across the country. Massive #StopAdani human signs were created in iconic locations, from Bondi Beach to Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays, from Melbourne to Perth, Adelaide’s Henley Beach to the Gold Coast.

Uniting Church Minister and local resident, the Rev. Bill Thomas, said: “We have a duty to care for the earth, a sacred gift from God. In this time and place, this means protecting the Galilee Basin from Adani’s Carmichael mine. If the mine is established it will further exacerbate extreme weather events, which in turn are impacting the world’s poor the hardest. It will destroy parts of the Great Barrier Reef and cause irreversible damage to groundwater systems. As Christians, we cannot stand silently by.”

Padmadakini Coombes, an ordained Buddhist, said: “In Buddhism, the first precept is non-harm, or loving kindness, towards all beings. The tradition also points out the profound interconnectedness of all things, including all forms of life.”

Ms Coombes said: “Coal is destroying the earth’s eco-systems. Developing Adani’s mine would fundamentally undermine action to tackle climate change. That has contributed to heatwaves, bushfires, droughts, floods and super-storms becoming more frequent. This weekend we will bear witness to the need to apply our understanding of the Dharmic principles of wisdom and compassion towards all living things, including our precious earth, to help stop Adani.”

Based in Sydney, ARRCC is a nationwide interfaith organisation that mobilises faith communities to take action on climate change. It has created climate change action kits that are tailored for specific religions, organised multi-faith climate events and is now organising to oppose the Adani mine.

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