On Friday 22 January 2021 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into legal force and made nuclear weapons illegal under international law. The Treaty is the result of decades of campaigning and years and diplomatic negotiations, an international effort by politicians and civil society which demonstrates the strength of opposition to nuclear weapons globally.
As we celebrated the Treaty entering into force, Christian CND gathered with friends from the Network of Christian Peace Organisations for an online celebration with contributions from around the UK and South Korea, where out friends in the Bargn Nuri Community have lived for years under the threat of nuclear war.
Whilst the entry into force of the Treaty is a landmark event and a cause for pause and celebration, there is still much more work to be done. Christian CND, alongside wider civil society in the UK, is redoubling efforts to bring the UK to the table and rid the world of nuclear weapons once and for all. But we can’t do it without the support and prayers of people who share our vision for a nuclear weapons-free world.
Many Christian traditions and denominations in the UK have supported the idea of a Treaty to ban nuclear weapons for some time. The Baptist Church, Church of Scotland, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and Quakers have long-standing positions opposing nuclear weapons and have welcomed the Treaty. Bishops within both The Church of England and Catholic Church have recently called on the government to engage with the Treaty.
The General Assembly has been consistent in declaring nuclear weapons to be an evil and therefore the Church should have every confidence in continuing to campaign for their removal and eventual eradication. It is right that those who follow the Prince of Peace should themselves work for peace and this is no small part of that.
Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
The TPNW is a comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons and other related activity. This includes:
A ban on the use, stockpiling, testing, production, manufacture, stationing and installation.
A ban on assisting with the prohibited acts, such as the United States leasing the Trident missiles to the UK.
A ban on allowing nuclear weapons to travel through territorial waters or airspace.
The requirement of assistance to the victims of nuclear weapons. This is the first time this has been included in a treaty.
A requirement to take action in areas that have been damaged by the testing of nuclear weapons
It is our prayer that you will want to join us as we continue to work and pray for a nuclear weapons free world.