LWF Delegation Joins Human Chain in Solidarity with Climate Vulnerable Communities

Standing together for one minute in silent protest, LWF Youth delegates unite with local activists to emphasize the devastating effects of climate change. Photo: LWF/Sean Hawkey
Standing together for one minute in silent protest, LWF Youth delegates unite with local activists to emphasize the devastating effects of climate change. Photo: LWF/Sean Hawkey

Typhoon in the Philippines Prompts the Call for “Solidarity not just Sympathy”

(LWI) – In solidarity with the people of the Philippines impacted by typhoon Hagupit (also known as “Ruby”), scores of advocates including the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) delegation, Youth consituencies, Faith actors, Fast for the Climate members, local activists and other environmentally-focused NGOs formed a “human chain” inside the COP20 conference centre in Lima, Peru, where this week, climate change discussions continue until 12 December. 

Arms linked together for one minute in silence, the 100 civil society actors raised awareness on the devastating effects of climate change and the vulnerable people most affected by inaction.

Filipino delegates witnessed the situation in the Philipinnes, where 1 Million people had to be evacuated during this weekend and urged for „Climate Action now!“.

“`Hagupit` marks the third typhoon to hit the Philippines in three years and ironically, these disasters always seem to occur during COP events,” stated LWF  Delegate Matilda Mattson from Church of Sweden. “We stand in solidarity especially with the people of the Philippines’ environmental activists who are here with us in Lima and whose communities have been directly impacted by these natural disasters the most.” says  Warime Guti from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea.

In a letter addressed to Rev. Antonio Reyes, president the Lutheran Church in the Philippines, the General Secretary of the LWF, Rev. Martin Junge, offered prayers on behalf of the entire Lutheran communion for the people of the Philippines.

Since 2013 when typhoon Haiyan also hit the Eastern Samar Province of the Philippines, killing over 7,000 people, the LWF has assisted member churches in the Philippines helping local communities become better equipped to handle such natural disasters. In October this year, the LWF Department for Mission and Development ran a disaster preparedness workshop.

Pastor of the Lutheran church in Tacloban city said on 7 December that many have already volunteered to vacate their houses included church members. The local government has put in place an evacuation plan which people have obediently followed.

“This is another trial of our faith yet we continue to trust our God for He is the true Refuge and Sure Defense in times of trouble,” said Rev. Dr. Ranara.

“Please know that the LWF communion stands with you during these hours of fear and concern,” stated Rev. Junge in his letter. “Please let your people know that our bonds of communion and solidarity in Christ are strong and vital reason for which our prayers and focus belongs all to you in these days!”