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Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-2022) is understandably best known as the catalyst for the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but this quote also indicates that he was a religious naturalist.


I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos. So nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred. Trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals. Being at one with nature.


Gorbachev also walked the walk. At the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, he called for an Earth Charter to guide the process of environmental protection and economic development. He encouraged the drafting process, which took many years and involved world-wide participation. The resulting Earth Charter is a landmark document that brings together Ecology, Justice and Peace. Its preamble lifts up our evolutionary context along with indigenous worldviews: Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life.” He went on to found Green Cross International and hosted Earth Dialogues to champion the flourishing of the Earth community as envisioned in the Charter.