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Over 40 prominent Southern Baptist leaders released a statement Monday urging action against climate change, asserting that “the time for timidity regarding God’s creation is no more.” The declaration is a notable departure from a statement released after the denomination’s 2007 annual meeting that questioned human impacts on climate change. “We believe our current denominational engagement with these issues have often been too timid, failing to produce a unified moral voice,” the new declaration says. “Our cautious response to these issues in the face of mounting evidence may be seen by the world as uncaring, reckless, and ill-informed. We can do better.” The signatories also urged action on other environmental ills and called on churches to preach about caring for the environment. One of the signatories, Jonathan Merritt, stressed why environmental protection is so important. “[W]hen we destroy God’s creation, it’s similar to ripping pages from the Bible,” he said.

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