Praying over Ashes
Africa is well known for its sad, tragic, and unfortunate news. What we don’t often see, or hear about is the kind of unified religious front on display in Nairobi where elephants and rhinos are being poached at alarming rates.
With the increased demand for ivory in the East, 2011 brought one of the most deadly poaching seasons for elephants and rhinos. 448 rhinos were poached last year compared to the 13 in 2007. As an illicit industry, poaching is third following drug, and human trafficking. As a result, poachers have established a $10 billion industry.
In Nairobi National safari park, 50 religious leaders stood in a circle around a pit filled with the charred remains of 13 tons of elephant ivory burned to keep it from poachers. Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu spiritual leaders offered prayers of forgiveness for the harm we humans are doing to the wildlife and environment.