Southern Baptist leaders urge fight against climate change

NEW YORK (AP) -- A group of Southern Baptist leaders are taking a major shift on their global warming stance.

The group released a declaration yesterday signed by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention among others that says their denomination has been "too timid" on environmental issues and has a biblical duty to stop global warming.

It explains a growing urgency about climate change even within groups that once dismissed claims of an overheating planet as a liberal ruse.

The signers of "A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change" say they do not expect fellow believers to back any proposed solutions that would violate Scripture, such as advocating population control through abortion.

The conservative denomination based in Nashville, Tenn., has 16.3 million members and is the largest Protestant group in the U.S.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)