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Christians called to mobilise against animal cruelty

By staff writers
26 Sep 2006

Christians called to mobilise against animal cruelty

-26/09/06

Christians are being urged to mobilize against animal cruelty this week as churches around the country celebrate Animal Welfare Sunday.

2005 was described as 'one of the most violent towards animals' by RSPCA Director General Jackie Ballard. However the secular animal welfare movement has often been highly critical of the apparent lack of concern shown by the Church for the suffering of animals.

"Christians helped inspire the anti-cruelty movement in this country," says Oxford theologian, the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey. "People like William Wilberforce and Lord Shaftesbury believed that cruelty was incompatible with the Christian Faith.

"Now with RSPCA figures showing a worrying increase in cruelty to animals, it is vital that Christians should be mobilized against cruelty.

"We need another Christian anti-cruelty crusade. I think some Christians foolishly think that the battle has been already won, but actually it has to be fought in every generation."

The RSPCA Service for Animal Welfare, written by Professor Linzey, was first published by the Society way back in 1975 when such services were hardly thought of.

"Back then, the whole idea of praying for animals or holding animal services was thought to be rather unusual, but nowadays literally hundreds of services are held in all kinds of churches," he said.

The RSPCA was founded by an Anglican priest, the Revd Arthur Broome in 1824 who wanted the Society to be in the vanguard against cruelty.

Well known Christians such as C S Lewis, John Wesley and William Wilberforce all spoke out against animal cruelty.

Sunday 1 October is Animal Welfare Sunday, and Wednesday 4 October is
St Francis' Day, which is also World Day for Animals.

This year, groups such as the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals will be focusing on live animal exports.

Hundreds of churches of all denominations are expected to hold animal services or animal blessings during this time with clergy encouraged to preach on Christian responsibility for the care of creation.

There are two places where you can adopt an animal online:

To sponsor an animal through the WWF click here.

To sponsor an animal with PDSA click here.

Christians are being urged to mobilize against animal cruelty this week as churches around the country celebrate Animal Welfare Sunday.

2005 was described as 'one of the most violent towards animals' by RSPCA Director General Jackie Ballard. However the secular animal welfare movement has often been highly critical of the apparent lack of concern shown by the Church for the suffering of animals.

"Christians helped inspire the anti-cruelty movement in this country," says Oxford theologian, the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey. "People like William Wilberforce and Lord Shaftesbury believed that cruelty was incompatible with the Christian Faith.

"Now with RSPCA figures showing a worrying increase in cruelty to animals, it is vital that Christians should be mobilized against cruelty.

"We need another Christian anti-cruelty crusade. I think some Christians foolishly think that the battle has been already won, but actually it has to be fought in every generation."

The RSPCA Service for Animal Welfare, written by Professor Linzey, was first published by the Society way back in 1975 when such services were hardly thought of.

"Back then, the whole idea of praying for animals or holding animal services was thought to be rather unusual, but nowadays literally hundreds of services are held in all kinds of churches," he said.

The RSPCA was founded by an Anglican priest, the Revd Arthur Broome in 1824 who wanted the Society to be in the vanguard against cruelty.

Well known Christians such as C S Lewis, John Wesley and William Wilberforce all spoke out against animal cruelty.

Sunday 1 October is Animal Welfare Sunday, and Wednesday 4 October is
St Francis' Day, which is also World Day for Animals.

This year, groups such as the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals will be focusing on live animal exports.

Hundreds of churches of all denominations are expected to hold animal services or animal blessings during this time with clergy encouraged to preach on Christian responsibility for the care of creation.

To sponsor an animal through the WWF click here.

To sponsor an animal with PDSA click here.

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