Environmentalism is getting a big boost from religious communities that increasingly see protecting the Earth as central to their theology, according to the Worldwatch Institute. In its annual “State of the World” report released late last week, Worldwatch found that religious organizations from all corners of the globe are urging their congregations to save wildlife preserves, protect rainforests, and oppose overuse of natural resources, among other environmental tenets. In Pakistan, the government has sought the advice of Muslim clergy in designing an environmental awareness program based on the teachings of the Koran. In Thailand, Buddhist monks are helping lead the campaign against their country’s deforestation. In the U.S., the Sierra Club and the National Council of Churches teamed up to make a television ad using a Jewish prayer to urge protection of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “The quickening of religious interest in environmental issues suggests that a powerful new political alignment may be emerging that could greatly strengthen the effort to build a sustainable world,” said Worldwatch’s Gary Gardner.