Any religion can be eco-friendly. There are particular cultures though- some which are religious- which conserve vast amounts of resources because of their traditions and beliefs. These groups believe in sustainable farming and subsistence farming, and reduced or eliminated energy usage. The Amish do not use electricity, and Orthodox Jews do not use/reduce usage of electricity for over 24 hours each week.
I agree that any religion can be eco-friendly, but the three that are considered the particularly so are Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Of these three, I’d say Jainism is the most eco-friendly–anti-overconsumption and the belief that all living things have souls (so they do not harm living things). From personal experience, I find that Unitarian Universalism is also extremely eco-friendly; one of its basic tenets is respect for the interdependent web of existence, and members are very involved in environmental work. One local congregation where I’m from pays for student internships that support social justice and environmental causes.
I suppose one could argue druidism or Shintoism are more Eco-friendly in there worship of the natural world. However, all major religions are eco-friendly in the sense that worship of materialism is preached against.
I would agree with Indian Jainism. Jains do not believe in harming any living creature, including insects. It is, ostensibly, a very peaceful faith to all lifeforms. However, the answer to this question depends on one’s definition of both “religion” and “eco-friendly.”
Each religion emerged out of a specific historical context. Unless environmental issues were a current social obstacle at the time of the religions emergence, chances are, environmental issues are not going to be widely recognized within that religion. Religions have indeed shifted through time, to acculturate with the traditions and expectations of the historical time, but the major religions, in their most fundamental forms, do not widely recognize “green.” However, most religions can relate to current environmental challenges in how they frame the accumulation of wealth and power. Most of them are in opposition to the purpose of getting rich at the expense of your life or soul.
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