The Amazon rainforest, world’s largest tropical rainforest, is on fire and we Christians can do something about this!
Amazon rainforest is often called “the planet’s lungs” since it produces about 20% of the world’s oxygen. It spans eight countries and covers 40% of South America with more than 30 million residents. Aside from the millions of people living in the Amazon, it is also home to large numbers of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.
Just this week, an inferno in the Amazon sparked rapidly. There are around 74,000 active fires burning the Amazon rainforest as of the moment, which is about 84% increase from last year’s records and doubles from the 2013 records. It reached a record high since records began in 2013.
On Monday, the afternoon sky in São Paulo blackened due to smoke drifting from the fires 2,700 km (1,700 miles) away.
The unprecedented blazing fries in the Amazon threatens the rainforest ecosystem and also affects the entire globe.
As to the reason why these flames started, it’s not yet clear and no official report has been released yet. However, Alberto Setzer, a senior scientist at INPE, believes 99% of the fires result from human actions “either on purpose or by accident.”
The government of Brazil has been sending the armed forces in their attempt to stop the fires. Recently, the US has sent a firefighting supertanker plane that could hold about 19,000 gallons of retardant to help the Amazon forest.
A call-to-action to pray for the Amazon has also been spreading worldwide through social media. The hashtags #PrayfoAmazonas and #PrayforAmazonia has been trending and it caught the attention of millions of people worldwide.
We as Christians, we can join in the prayer movement for the Amazon. As Jesus turned the water into wine and as God parted the sea for His people, He could also turn the situation in the Amazon forest around. Let’s declare restoration to the Amazon rainforest and everyone affected.