| CHICAGO, June 2
CHICAGO, June 2 Evangelical Christian
environmental groups on Friday panned President Donald Trump's
decision to withdraw the United States from a global climate
change pact, with leaders saying the political left does not
have a monopoly on this issue.
Trump's decision, announced on Thursday, "was an affront to
our faith in Christ, who calls us to love and be concerned for
our neighbors around the world who are impacted by climate
change," said Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, the national organizer and
spokesman for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action.
Trump said participation in the pact would undermine the
U.S. economy, wipe out American jobs, weaken national
sovereignty and put America at a disadvantage to other
countries. But the evangelical environmentalists
said the decision was out of line with Biblical priorities
because it would degrade the environment and hurt the poor.
White evangelicals overwhelmingly supported Trump, the
Republican candidate in November's U.S. Presidential election.
In November, 81 percent of voters who identified as
white born-again or evangelical Christians voted for Trump,
according to the Pew Research Center.
However, the Paris agreement was welcomed by numerous
evangelical Christian groups, including the World Evangelical
Alliance and the Lausanne Movement.
Many Christian green advocates also expressed frustration
with comments made Friday by Vice President Mike Pence, a
"For some reason or another, this issue of climate change
has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country
and around the world," Pence said on 'Fox and Friends.'
Brian Webb, director of Climate Caretakers, a group that
advocates for prayer as part of its approach to combating the
effects of climate change, said Pence's claim was wrong. While
Webb considers himself a conservative on many issues, he said he
is not a Trump supporter.
"A friend of mine likes to say that a thermometer is neither
a Republican nor a Democrat," said Webb, who traveled to Paris
for the signing of the accord in 2015 to raise awareness among
the public that many evangelical Christians are concerned about
"We feel the betrayal much more significantly because we
realize that much of his support comes from within our own faith
backgrounds," Webb said of Trump.
The Paris accord, signed by nearly 200 countries in 2015,
was meant to limit global warming to 2 degrees or less by 2100,
mainly through country pledges to cut carbon dioxide and other
emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.
Under the pact, the United States had committed to reduce
its emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent from 2005 levels by
2025. This country is the world's second biggest carbon emitter
The evangelical environmental groups insisted that U.S.
withdrawal from the pact runs counter to messages in the Bible.
"We, as Christians, are called to care for those who have
the least," said Reverend Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical
Trump's decision showed that the administration cares about
"our economy and jobs only," Hescox added.
(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin; editing by Ben Klayman and