Blessed, but not Saved
The demonstrations by native Americans against the Dakota Access Pipeline will surely be remembered as a landmark in relations between Christianity – especially the Catholic church– and indigenous people. The Christian clergy have been attending the voice of protests of over 200 indigenous groups since the polemic Pipeline project begun. Catholic church is very engaged in this cause, given that Pope Francis called for a rapid switch away from fossil fuels in his environmental encyclical. Also Reverend John Floberg, who is responsible for Episcopal (Anglican) parishes on the North Dakota side of Standing Rock, has a strong role, coordinating actions of 500 clergy and lay people from 20 different religious groups who gathered in the affected zone.
The pipeline, which is nearly complete, is intended to run nearly 1,200 miles from oil fields in North Dakota before connecting to an existing line in Illinois. The native Americans protesters fear pollution and disturbance of sacred lands. As reported in The Economist.