May. 2, 2019

Faith communities deliver public statement on nuclear weapons

Dr Emily Welty, vice-moderator of the WCC's Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, delivered the statement at the UN in New York, Photo: Douglas Leonard/WCC

02 May 2019

On 1 May, faith communities delivered a public statement to the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

They called attention to the pressing need to work productively for a world free from the most destructive weapons ever created. “Our respective faith traditions and our lived experience as people of faith compel us to speak together, regardless of our differences, to denounce this threat to our shared humanity,” the statement reads. “We recognize the fearfulness that has driven nations to take up arms against threats to their security but we collectively choose to face that fear not with additional posturing or intimidation but with continued action for a world based on trust, compassion and equality.”

Peacebuilding requires courage, resilience and imagination, the statement notes. “Our faith-based traditions have given us both the imperative to continue this humanitarian disarmament work, even, perhaps especially, when there are so many voices of despair and pessimism,” the statement reads. “We share and value the basic human right to live in a world free from the fear of total destruction, in an environment free from contamination.”

The faith leaders expressed joy over the growing support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. “Our faith traditions demand that we care for and accompany those who are suffering,” the statement reads. “We continue to mourn the devastating impacts of nuclear testing and nuclear detonations on human bodies, human communities and the planet.”

The statement was delivered by Dr Emily Welty, vice-moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission of the Churches on International Affairs.