World Council of Churches -
Contact: + 41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363
For immediate release:
31 March 2009
Move towards a nuclear-weapon-free world, churches tell NATO
Issued jointly by the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches
A world without nuclear weapons is not only possible but more secure, leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have been told by a coalition of national, regional and global councils of churches.
In a 30 March letter, four councils of churches urged the NATO leadership to "reinforce the vision of a world without nuclear weapons", consigning to history the notion that nuclear weapons preserve peace and instead recognizing that they make security more precarious.
An immediate step towards that goal, the churches' letter suggests, would be to update the alliance's strategic concept and security doctrine. The alliance should also show willingness to remove hundreds of US tactical nuclear weapons still placed in European countries.
The letter, signed by the general secretaries of the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, the National Council of Churches of Christ USA and the Canadian Council of Churches, comes ahead of the NATO summit of heads of State and Government to be held on 3-4 April in Baden-Baden and Kehl, Germany, and in Strasbourg, France.
"We believe security must be sought through constructive engagement with neighbors and that authentic security is found in affirming and enhancing human interdependence within God’s one creation," the letter states.
Full text of the councils of churches' letter to the NATO member states and secretary general
NATO's 60th anniversary summit
Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.