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5 Christian Denominations With Liberal Views on Animal Rights

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2015 06:49 AM

Animal rights have long been a topic of debate among Christian scholars and theologians who have debated numerous edicts pertaining to the issue. Among those issues is the much debated question do animals have souls? Some animal lovers have cited animal rights as a primary reason for choosing the particular denomination they have decided to follow. There are a number of Christian religions that have liberal views when it comes to animal rights.

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1. Episcopalians

The Episcopalians, who follow the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the patron saint of animals who is celebrated for his love of all animals, celebrate the Blessing of the Animals each October 4. During this annual event, animal lovers bring their pets to churches where a priest will send up a prayer asking God to protect the pet so that it may continue to enrich the lives of its owners. The church's official edict on animal rights has resolved "That the Episcopal Church, through its office of government relations, identify and advocate for legislation protecting animals and effective enforcement measures."

2. Old Catholics

Old Catholics support the views of Pope Francis who recently made headlines by stating "There's a place in heaven for animals." Old Catholics, a denomination that separated from the Catholic faith regarding church doctrines, honor the teachings of St. Francis during the Blessing of the Animals.

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3. Anglicans

The Anglican Church, founded the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals, an animal advocacy group. According to the BBC, the group opposes unnecessary animal testing and opposes inhumane hunting practices and advocates more humane methods of slaughter, such as utilizing the practice of killing the animal in the quickest most painless manner available.

4. Seventh-day Adventists

Many Seventh-day Adventists advocate vegan diets and advocate "Humane eating," which supports more humane methods of slaughtering farm animals. The church has butted heads with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) regarding the organization's views, which occasionally conflict with church doctrine. In one example, PETA orchestrated a campaign to encourage college students to drink beer instead of milk. The anti-milk campaign stated "beer is actually better for you than milk." Their chief complaint is "the treatment of mother cows and calves on factory farms." The church denounced this animal rights campaign as reckless, according to adventist.org.

5. United Methodists

The United Methodist Church supports regulations that protect the life and health of animals. In the church's official statement for the treatment of animals issued in 1980, the doctrine condemned the needless or unjustifiable testing on animals and stated that experiments on animals to assess the effect of cosmetics is wrong. It further stated that cruel sports, such as stag hunting and hare coursing, are to be condemned, not only for the suffering imposed on the animal but also for the effect on the human participant. It advocated conservation stating that many animal species are threatened with extinction or decimation because of human activities. 

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Animal rights have long been a topic of debate among Christian scholars and theologians who have debated numerous edicts pertaining to the issue. Among those issues is the much debated question do animals have souls?
christian, animal, rights, liberal
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2015-49-06
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 06:49 AM
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