Religion is a collection of designated thoughts and beliefs which were born by the virtue of nature, that relates to humanity and spirituality collectively. Forces of nature constitute the basis for spiritual beliefs for a lot of communities. Even though its definition was never absolute and varied drastically between one community and other, nature was somehow a common link between these mythological stories that were weaving culture and societies.
People worshiped gods of natural elements establishing a relationship. Yet, depleting resources for serving the growing population and development of mankind was inevitable.
Now, most parts of the world are facing the dire consequences of Global Warming and Climate Change. There are a few communities that are trying to reinstate years of spoliation by means of their faith.
The churches of Ethiopia’s Orthodox Tewahedo, the dominant religious group in the country with nearly 50 million members were almost always nestled in patches of dense forest.
The active conservationists and priests of the “forest churches” have seen a significant change in the immediate vicinity of the environment around these chapels. The quality of water improved, tree seedlings survived, pollinators are benefitting the nearby agricultural lands as well. There is a remarkable difference in the temperature of enclosed forest spaces.
The Chapels are igniting a ray of hope in preserving and expanding the remaining flora and fauna. Can these “Eco-Chapels” be augmented into something that serves the community beyond creating forests?
The challenge here is to conceive a forest chapel and community center for the Ethiopian Tribes and communities. It must be built in a way to contribute to growing the forest instead of only “preserving” them. The church can be a junction point for exchanging knowledge and spreading awareness about drastic depleting forests in their country.