Faith leaders are calling on the UK government to add its support for the United Nations (UN) Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This follows on from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN), of which the World Council of Churches (WCC) is a partner, being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The statement signed by leaders from the Baptist Union, Catholic Church, Church of Scotland, Free Churches Group, Methodist Conference, Quakers, United Reformed Church, as well as other faiths, stated:
‘As people of faith, we seek to build relationships founded on the basis of our common humanity, moral principles and international law. Our world must not remain divided into nations with nuclear weapons and those without. As we are seeing, the tension caused by this division can only increase with likely dreadful consequences for all.’
You can read the full statement on the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) website.
‘The World Council of Churches has been actively involved in this campaign and in those negotiations’, Peter Prove, director of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, commented on the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN. ‘The achievement of that treaty represents a long-held dream for the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement’.
Although the countries that currently possess nuclear weapons do not support the treaty and have said they have no intention to ratify it, the treaty creates a new standard that de-legitimises the continued possession, ownership, development and threat of use of nuclear weapons, says the WCC.
Read the full statement on the WCC website.
Take action to support the ban
The five churches behind JPIT have produced a two-minute video (see above) calling on Christians to work towards a future free of nuclear weapons and are asking people to submit their names and images to an online picture petition that will be delivered to the UK government in February 2018.