As the United Nations open the historic Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty for signatures, church leaders in the UK have signed an open-letter, coordinated by Christian CND, calling for the government to sign up.
The text of the letter is:
At the United Nations today a ground-breaking Treaty banning nuclear weapons opens for signature. The Treaty is the result of multilateral negotiation and is supported by more than 120 states. Unfortunately the United Kingdom is not among those set to sign the Treaty.
We believe that nuclear weapons pose a threat to the survival of humanity. History has shown us the complete devastation these weapons deliver and the human suffering they cause. The Bible teaches us that we are stewards of the earth, with a duty to protect all life. Nuclear weapons are the antithesis of this teaching.
Jesus describe peacemakers as blessed and the prophet Isaiah wrote of “beating swords into ploughshares”. The world stands closer to nuclear war now than it has done for a generation. At this time, while the world debates use of sanctions, diplomacy or military force, the Treaty represents a unique opportunity for the nuclear weapon states to walk together towards a total ban.
Successive UK governments have pledged their support for a world free of nuclear weapons. We believe that this Treaty offers a significant step towards that aim. By signing the Treaty the UK can show moral leadership. We urge the government to reconsider its position on the Treaty and join the international consensus in signing it.
Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning – Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Bishop Stephen Cottrell – Bishop of Chelmsford
Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning Derek McAuley – Chief Officer, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches Revd Loraine N. Mellor –President of the Conference of the Methodist Church Alan Yates – Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church
Tensions have ben rising in recent weeks following a series of missile tests by North Korea and increasingly hyperbolic rhetoric from US President Donald Trump, threatening a response of “fire and fury”.
Christian CND members and supporters were among those taking part in the ‘No Faith in War’ day at the protests against the DSEI Arms Fair in London on Tuesday 5 September.
Activists highlighted the immorality of selling weaponry, using placards to share the message of peace found in Bible.
Among those taking part in the action was Christian CND member Reverend Enid Gorton, a Methodist Minister from Manchester. She said she was taking part as selling weapons is “against the will of God”.
The DSEI (Defence and Security Equipment International) fair is set to attract more than 34,000 delegates to the ExCeL Centre in London, including many regimes accused of human rights abuses. Protests will be taking place on every day of the event.
The arms sales from DSEI will inevitably cause death and suffering to civilians in conflicts around the world. Christian CND believes that these sales are immoral, against the teaching of the Bible and calls for diplomatic solutions to be sought across the world.
Please join Christian CND in continuing to pray for those taking part in the demonstrations this week.
As tensions around North Korea’s nuclear program continue to escalate, Christian CND has joined individuals and groups around the world in calling for a diplomatic response to the crisis.
The situation has become increasingly dangerous, with Pyongyang claiming to have tested a hydrogen bomb over the weekend. This was met by the US Secretary of Defence threatening a “massive military response”, after Donald Trump had previously promised “fire and fury like the world has never seen”.
Christian CND believes that the only solution to the situation in North Korea is through dialogue. There have been suggestions that six party talks could recommence, though so far this has not materialised.
The international community has already shown what can be achieved by dialogue and negotiation this year. The United Nations agreed a Treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in July, and it will be open for signatures later this month. If those involved in the current situation around North Korea show the same courage and leadership, then a peaceful solution can be found.