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RoW church leaders conference

Our desire for organizing this conference is to see that church leaders understand the importance of relationships restored with God, with each other and balance with creation restored. To see Christians united across Nigeria in action as part of a movement for change that gets to the heart of the problem of poverty and shifts the balance of power, so that the poorest and most vulnerable people are treated with justice and love.
The event started 9:30 am on Thursday 19th March 2020 with the arrival of participants, registration and breakfast. The session opened officially by 10 am with an opening prayer, welcoming of visitors and introduction.
The session started with after welcome address by the Country Director of Tearfund was Contextual Analysis of Nigeria by Ben Osawe, he gave a good background to the issues that will be discussed subsequently in the meeting. It was followed by a group discussion asking the question what is the situation of your environment?. With three groups formed from the participants, leaders and secretaries were selected, the discussions helped the participants to discuss factors of environmental problems and to envision a new environment.

The next session was taken by Dr Stephen Daniyam discussing the topic of the Church as light in the 21st century. This session focused on the Biblical concept of the Church as Light and the historical narratives impacts made by the church in a contemporary world. Many Church leaders were inspired to holistic development or mission as seen commanded by Jesus.
The Next Session was taken by Prof. Danny McCain discussing the topic: Church as salt in the context of a broken Environment. This session was an eye-opener for many church leaders bringing the deep theological discussion on the environment to bear and laid the 3 principles of Preservation, Conservation and Restoration of the environment and indeed all God’s creation. The session was inspiring and challenging for participants, questions were asked and several discussions on action followed.

This great event has birth a movement of church leaders who are now committed to solving environmental issues. This group has met monthly to discuss group engagements and have trees planted at every meeting. So far, over 200 trees have been planted in till Jan 2021, this is particularly exciting as it promotes actions that are able to proffer immediate and simple solutions to environmental problems.

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UK Campaigns

Tearfund leads the UK Renew Our World campaign. In 2017 Tearfund gathered 5,000 people to call the Department for International Development (DFID) to shift their energy spending from fossil fuels to local clean energy for people in poverty. The campaign had a good response from DFID who have pledged an extra £150 million. Tearfund’s report Pioneering Power [link] researched the benefits of off-grid renewables to improve health, education, jobs and women’s empowerment, as well as the climate. In 2018 the UK campaign moved on to target the World Bank with the Lighting the Darkness campaign on clean energy - working with the Big Shift [link].

The World Bank is a much bigger investor in energy worldwide so shifting them could have even more impact. More than 16,000 people signed the latest petition to the World Bank!

The campaign is now building on this progress to put more pressure on the Bank to go further in investing more in off-grid renewables, which best helps people in poverty. Tearfund has been able to engage in sustained, detailed policy work on this issue, including launching a report Pioneering Power: Transforming lives through off-grid renewable electricity in Africa and Asia on the benefits of off-grid renewables such as solar power to improve people’s health, education, jobs and women’s empowerment, which has been received well by DFID, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the World Bank.

At the same time Tearfund are engaging supporters in the UK with prayer and lifestyle asks to fly less, drive less, switch to clean electricity and eat less meat.

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