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As Norway has reportedly affirmed its commitment to continued oil-gas exploration, Hindus are urging its majority church—Church of Norway; whose Vision is “More heaven on earth”; to take a strong and passionate stand against this heavily polluting fossil fuel extraction. 

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was our moral responsibility to preserve God’s creation, save the planet and care for the environment. It was our religious duty to stop damage to the environment and limit global warming, thus protecting the vulnerable communities across the world. 

It seemed a clear case of hypocrisy where Norway; simultaneously positioned itself as forward-thinking climate champion and preaching sustainability, while cashing in on the excessively polluting fossil fuel extraction for continued economic prosperity that was causing climate change; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated. 

In this climate crisis, Norway should pursue fairness instead of selfish gains and commit to a responsible attitude towards our planet. Exploitation of the planet, causing climate change, must stop immediately and Church of Norway should show its commitment and actively and earnestly voice its concerns to save the planet; Rajan Zed emphasized. 

Zed pointed out that despite our seriously different faith traditions and doctrines, we were all deeply interconnected, and we should collaborate together for taking care of the creation so that everyone flourished. We, the diverse faith communities, should be united to protect and care-for our planet and all its people to ensure a healthy and resilient future for humankind. 

While the Norway was carrying on adding to climate change and exploring for oil and gas, would it be righteous for the Church of Norway to look the other way? Rajan Zed asked. 

Zed urged the Bishop’s Conference of the Church of Norway Presiding Bishop Olav Fykse Tveit; Oslo Roman Catholic Bishop Bernt Ivar Eidsvig; and other religious leaders of Norway; to commit to urgent global climate action and to work to persuade the Norway’s political and business leaders to embrace sustainable and just economy for the future of the planet and its occupants; listening to the pain of God given earth and world’s poor. 

Rajan Zed also urged the faithful, through individual and collective action, to: adopt more sustainable lifestyles, become aware of how we were depleting natural resources and degrading the environment, commit to care for the creation, listen to earth’s sufferings, pray, think of future generations, and work to protect and restore ecosystems. 

A large majority of Norwegians belong to Church of Norway, historically a national church. Norway, a major fossil fuels exporter, is said to be western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer; and it seems to be leaning towards continuing oil exploration-drilling-production in the coming years. 

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