Church Statements on nuclear weapons

Many Christian denominations and traditions share our vision of a nuclear weapons-free world. Here you can see some of the most recent statements from leaders within the Church. You can download a poster of church statements here

The Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth, addressed the West Midlands CND AGM on Zoom. You can watch the full recording on YouTube.

In November 2020 31 Anglican Bishops issued an open-letter in support of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The full text of the letter and the list of signatories is available here.

For so many of the nations of the world to speak clearly of the need to ban these weapons of mass destruction is an encouraging and hopeful sign. We commit ourselves to pray and to work so that this ratification will indeed help to see an end to nuclear weapons in the future. We very much regret that the UK, together with other nuclear states, has not yet signed the accord. We call on the UK government to do so and thereby to give hope to all people of goodwill who seek a peaceful future.

In January 2021 the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales called on the UK to “forsake it’s nuclear arsenal”

We urge support for the Treaty and repeat our call for the UK to forsake its nuclear arsenal. The resources spent on manufacturing, maintaining and upgrading these weapons of mass destruction, should be reinvested to alleviate the suffering of the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society, for the Common Good of all peoples.

Marking the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Rt Revd Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland said:

It is right that those who follow the Prince of Peace should themselves work for peace and this [calling for nuclear disarmament] is no small part of that.

In 2019 Pope Francis visited Hiroshima and made a powerful statement in support of nuclear disarmament which included the following:

The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is today, more than ever, a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home. The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possession of atomic weapons is immoral. Convinced as I am that a world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary, I ask political leaders not to forget that these weapons cannot protect us from current threats to national and international security. We need to ponder the catastrophic impact of their deployment, especially from a humanitarian and environmental standpoint, and reject heightening a climate of fear, mistrust, and hostility fomented by nuclear doctrines.

The Church of England passed a motion in July 2018 at General Synod in York which welcomed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and called on the UK to “respond positively”.

That this Synod, mindful that a faithful commemoration of the centenary of the 1918 Armistice must commit the Church afresh to peace building; and conscious that nuclear weapons, through their indiscriminate and destructive potential, present a distinct category of weaponry that requires Christians to work tirelessly for their elimination across the world.

Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Church leaders made the following statement ahead of the vote in Parliament in 2016 on going ahead with Trident replacement:

Our churches urge the British Government to work tirelessly to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction … Replacing Trident would send the wrong message to aspiring nuclear powers. … Replacing Trident with a new system with a potential lifespan to 2050 flies in the face of commitments that the UK has made under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

In Wales, all the bishops of the Church in Wales, all the Welsh RC bishops, the leaders of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church, the Union of Welsh Independent Churches and the Religious Society of Friends:

We believe the proposal to spend £25bn on replacement of the Trident system is a denial of out Treaty obligations and an encouragement to more non-nuclear states to develop their own weapons.

The Community of Christ World Conference in 2013 passed the following resolution on nuclear weapons.

That Community of Christ affirms nuclear weapons pose a grave threat to the Earth and existence of lifeCommunity of Christ join the global voices seeking to halt nuclear weapons production, support prudent action to minimize the threat or use of nuclear weapons, and urge renewed efforts toward eradication; and be it further. That wherever practical, Community of Christ convey its support for the responsible reduction and eventual eradication of nuclear weapons, urging policy to that end by all nations 

Download a poster of church statements here

The campaign also has statements from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rabbi David Saperstein, Dr. Muzzami H. Siddiqi, and from Pope John Paul II.

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