The relationship between humans and animals can be influenced by religious belief. Regardless of the diversity of religions, kindness to all of God’s creatures seems to be a central concept. Theologians concerned with animal ethics currently emphasize an ecosystem approach with the focus on reverence for life and restricting harm to and suffering of all forms of life. Today many Christians experience an enriching relationship with animals. Although church leaders played an important role in the history of animal welfare, the human-animal bond is not an issue which receives much attention in the Christian church today. The role of theology in a multidisciplinary approach towards the enhancement of positive human-animal interaction, by means of research, education and congregational ministry is advocated.
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