This week, governments, experts, and campaigners from all around the world have come together in New York to discuss bringing an end to nuclear weapons, at the 2nd Meeting of State Parties (MSP) for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
As part of a global day of action organised by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Clergy across denominations have taken to social media to publicly show their support for the treaty, sharing photos of displaying statements such as “Clergy Against Nuclear Weapons”, “Revs Against the Bomb” and “God Bless the TPNW”. Every major Christian denomination in the UK has spoken out against nuclear weapons, and this sentiment has been echoed in pulpits around the country.
Speaking in an online video, Church of England Priest Rev Richard Wise said “There are many reasons for Christians to oppose nuclear weapons. But something that’s particularly abhorrent to me is the cost. To replace Trident, it will cost at least 205 billion pounds. Just think of all the resources that go into that – all the God-given resources. God-given resources used, not to care for Creation and people, but to threaten them.”
Meanwhile Rev Simon Ramacci BEM, a Minister in the Congregational Federation said “Supporting the TPNW stems naturally from my vocation to preach Peace and to care for God’s Creation”.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons effectively bans nuclear weapons under international law, making it illegal for countries to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. It came into force in January 2021 and 93 countries have signed it; however none of the nine nuclear-armed states are among that number. The MSP comes amidst the escalating global tensions surrounding nuclear armament; the use of nuclear weapons has been openly raised by politicians in both the Russia/Ukraine and Israel/Gaza conflicts.
Christian CND recognises the pivotal role of religious leaders in advocating for peace and the sanctity of life. The “Clergy Against Nuclear Weapons” campaign serves as a collective voice, reminding us of the importance of moral responsibility, social justice, and ethical consciousness in the pursuit of a nuclear-free world.