Asian Theological Academy Climate Justice Convocation

First published on: 9th November 2022

In the week that international leaders meet at COP27 for climate crisis talks, the Asian Theological Academy (ATA) is holding its own climate conference. Around 50 church leaders from across Asia and the Pacific are meeting in Bangladesh where the ravages of climate change are only too clear to see.  Communities are sinking under water as melting snow from the Himalayas converge with rising sea levels. The onslaught is merciless and the effects terrible. 

By focusing on climate justice, in the context of this beautiful but water-logged country, the aim of the conference is to better equip church leaders and the marginalised communities they serve with a theology that grows out of their localities and speaks to their experience. The shared solidarity of the delegates stems from a growing awareness that theology inherited from a dominant culture outside their own is an inadequate tool for mission and ministry within their own churches. Recognising the global importance of developing Asian theologies, USPG has been an enthusiastic core partner with ATA since its inception in 2013.

The coming together of conference delegates this week provides space to reflect theologically on the impact of submerged land, displaced people and climate refugees, and to think together how to respond. Listening to the voice of climate victims has a prophetic dimension that reaches far beyond the walls of the conference and the continent of Asia. Their words and experience challenge us all: to love our neighbour and to work towards a future where ecological justice is realised.