The 'Climate Church'

Can Christianity finally make the United States care enough about climate change to act?

This story was shot on assignment for Newsweek magazine on 2015. Written by Tik Root.

 
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Crosses stand near land affected by Mountaintop Removal, a method of surface coal mining that destroys topsoil, vegetation and ultimately entire mountains and ridgelines to get to thin coal seams deep in the earth. Kayford mountain, West Virginia.

 
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A composting toilet funded by Martin Sheen (in the picture), a devout catholic, in a catholic retreat in West Virginia.

 
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Father John Rausch visiting regained land from Mountaintop removal mining. The Reverend Rausch has worked as an activist in the Appalachian region for more than 35 years. Kentucky.

 
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Climate change rally, Washington, D.C.

 
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Father John Rausch visiting regained land from Mountaintop removal mining. The Reverend Rausch has worked as an activist in the Appalachian region for more than 35 years. Kentucky.

 
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Pope Francis arriving to the Basilica. Washington, D.C. in september 2015. Francis is the first leader of the Catholic Church to advocate for climate change awareness.

 
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Community meeting in a church where environmentalist Pastor Charlotte Keys speaks about her mission 'Jesus People Against Pollution'. Columbia, Mississippi.

 
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Mountains affected by mountaintop removal mining. West Virginia.

 
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Woman in her land, affected by a chemical spill in the 70's. Columbia, Mississippi.

 
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Jeannie, the manager of a catholic retreat, in her cabin, West Virginia.

 
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Coal River Mountain Watch office, Naoma, West Virginia.

 
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Father John Rausch talking in a discussion about Pope Francis Encyclical in Charleston, West Virginia. The Reverend Rausch has been referred to as an 'environmental saint', and he has worked as an activist in the Appalachian region for more than 35 years.

 
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Family affected by a chemical spill in the 70's. Columbia, Mississippi.

 
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"Whoever shows up, shows up". Pastor Charlotte Keys awaits the arrival of her Bible class, where she tries to square environmentalism with an evangelical Christian belief system. Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

 
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Blessing the money in Pastor Charlotte Keys' Bible class. Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

 
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Pastor Jeff Allen flying over mountaintop removal mining sites. West Virginia

 
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Washington, D.C.

 
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Community meeting in a church where environmentalist Pastor Charlotte Keys speaks about her mission 'Jesus People Against Pollution'. Columbia, Mississippi.