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ARC Home > Projects > Asia projects :
Indonesia: Christian | Batak Church forestry in Sumatra | Restoring the forest round Lake Toba | Toraja Church Forestry in Sulawesi | How the Toraja project works | Indonesia: environment meeting

Indonesia: promotion of Christian ecology

The slopes around Lake Toba, in North Sumatra, are being reforested by the indigenous Batak Church community

Inter-denominational environmental desk

In 2001 the Communion of Churches in Jakarta – which brings together all mainstream protestant churches in the country – held an important reassessment of its pastoral priorities. It decided to give more attention to conservation and creation – and to focus on the creation of an Environmental Desk, working with all major churches, through which environmental information and education resources are disseminated. To achieve this, it is working with ARC and the World Bank as sponsors and advisors.

Practical projects

The initiative was quickly taken up by the indigenous HKBP Batak Church of North Sumatra, who appointed an environmental officer in the town of Taratung. The officer is responsible for developing a consciousness about the environment within the church, by focusing on issues like deforestation and soil erosion with which its members can easily engage. The Batak church has three million members and 960 pastors.

The Toraja Church of South Sulawesi has started working on similar projects. It is planning to work with the Ministry of Forestry on reforestation of heavily logged lands, as well as on replacing mono-planted pine forests with a range of tree species. The church’s aim is to re-awaken traditional and religious values about the environment through education, prayer and the authority of the local clan leaders.

Advent and ecology

In 2002 and 2003 the World Bank, through ARC, funded a booklet titled ‘Advent and Ecology’. The core text was written by ARC and translated and adapted by a working party at the Jakarta Theological College. The handbook highlights Christian teachings on a range of environmental topics and is designed for preaching and teaching during Advent – the four weeks running up to Christmas – with the intention of inspiring people to undertake practical activities to improve their world.

The booklet has been distributed through the Communion of Churches of Indonesia to Christian radio stations, religious correspondents from all major newspapers, heads of all Christian theological colleges and all the main Protestant denominations. Take-up by secular and religious media was greater than anticipated and led to weekly features on Christian radio stations as well as the production of sermon notes through two of the Church networks. The Communion of Churches, encouraged by the response, has extended plans for the Environment Desk to include regular production of liturgical study material on Christianity and Ecology.

>Multi-faith ecology in Indonesia



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Related information

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A complete listing of all current ARC projects
December 3, 2010:
Nigerian religious leaders unite in London to address environmental crisis
Four senior Christian and Muslim leaders from Nigeria will come to the UK next week for a high profile meeting with senior British Bishops, other faith leaders and politicians to discuss the key faith role in the environment in Africa.
December 3, 2010:
Nigerian religious leaders unite in London to address environmental crisis
Four senior Christian and Muslim leaders from Nigeria will come to the UK next week for a high profile meeting with senior British Bishops, other faith leaders and politicians to discuss the key faith role in the environment in Africa.