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Caring for creation in Costa Rica

Author: Bible Society, 3 May 2024

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In Costa Rica, Bible Society is working with churches to encourage better environmental stewardship and help preserve the country’s rich biodiversity. Costa Rica is home to more than 120,000 distinct species, representing an extraordinary six and a half per cent of the global total.

This is an opportunity for churches to attract and engage young people in meaningful service within their faith communities.

Javier Fallas is coordinating the project for Bible Society. He said: ‘The vast majority of the new generations feel called to activities that have a social impact. In a survey conducted by OneHope among Generation Z in Latin America and Spain, young people said they would be willing to attend a church that had an ecological programme.’

The project involves annual partnerships with churches of various denominations to lead environmental awareness campaigns and community interventions. Through the distribution of Bibles and evangelistic materials, churches are empowered to integrate environmental care into their outreach efforts, fostering a culture of stewardship inside and outside their congregations.

‘We intend, in the first instance, to raise awareness through workshops and training for young people on environmental issues from a biblical approach, showing how the word of God gives us answers and guidance on caring for the environment,’ Javier said. 

Do humans have dominion over the earth?

Gabriel Brais, who leads Bible mission in Costa Rica, said: ‘From Genesis, the Bible gives us the right and the calling to populate the earth, and to dominate nature and the creatures that inhabit it. For me, the term ‘dominion’ implies a responsibility of good stewardship and an obligation to be accountable for the blessings we have received, both to God and to future generations.

‘Environmental problems affect not only nature and animals, but also the most vulnerable in our society. We strongly believe in the purpose of this project and its ability to mobilise Costa Rican youth who are eager to bring about positive change. Our aim is not simply to carry out isolated actions, but to promote a new way of life in our community.’

Gabriel and his team will distribute copies of Eco Biblia, an edition of the Bible printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based ink. Verses on ecology are highlighted in green.

You can help Bible mission in this part of the world by supporting the groundbreaking work of translation teams in Costa Rica or bringing the Bible to Guatemala's schools.

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