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RELIGIOUS LEADERS SEEK DEAL WITH U.S. AUTOMAKERS

A group of religious leaders came to the Motor City on Wednesday with a proposition for U.S. automakers: Start producing vehicles that are kinder to God's creation, and we will urge the faithful to buy them.

The delegation, which included representatives from a variety of Jewish and Christian organizations, met with executives and top officials at Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers.

Earlier, the group introduced a "What Would Jesus Drive?" television advertising campaign, sponsored by the Pennsylvania-based Evangelical Environmental Network.

The ad, to begin airing in limited markets next month, says too many vehicles are polluting, then asks: "So if we love our neighbor and we cherish God's creation, maybe we should ask, 'What would Jesus drive?' "

Representatives of GM and Ford said they looked forward to a dialogue with the Interfaith Climate and Energy Campaign's leaders to explain advances and challenges in the effort to improve vehicle fuel efficiency.

The religious groups -- which include the Korean Presbyterians, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Mennonite Church -- are promoting hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles, as well as other fuel-saving technologies.

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