For generations of Black Americans, the church was the place to go if you had a problem.
“Any issue that we had was most often brought to the church first for a solution,” is how Gloria Ricks, President and CEO of Mount Zion Community Outreach in Augusta, Georgia, put it to FastCompany last October. “As a Black woman who grew up in Black churches, that’s all we knew.”
To this day, even as religion is on the wane in the United States, that relationship remains very strong: almost 75% of Black Americans go to church, higher than any other demographic group. But when it comes to the climate crisis — one of the chief problems facing Black communities today — the Black church is not generally fulfilling that long-standing role as the first stop for solutions.
In fact, according to a new survey on climate and religion from The Public Religion Research Institute, the majority of Black Christians in particular do not believe in human-caused climate change.
The survey, which looked at various religious groups of all races and racial groups on the whole, found that 60% of Black Americans believe that human activity is driving climate change, slightly more than the 56% of white Americans (and significantly less than the 78 and 73% of AAPI and Latinx Americans, respectively, who believe the same).
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