Churches urged to tackle nuclear 'ignorance and complacency'
Churches around the world are being urged to push their governments to pursue the unequivocal elimination of nuclear weapons.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) at its 9th General Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has adopted a Minute on the elimination of nuclear arms calling on member churches to urge their governments to pursue the unequivocal elimination of nuclear weapons in line with the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The minute says, "Governments that have decided to abstain from developing nuclear weapons should be affirmed and states that are not signatories of NPT must be pressed to sign the treaty".
It urges churches to work to overcome the "ignorance and complacency" in society concerning the nuclear threat, and especially to raise awareness in generations with no memory of what these weapons do.
It recommends that, until the goal of nuclear disarmament is achieved, member churches should prevail upon their governments to take collective responsibility for making international disarmament machinery work.
The minute also proposes that member churches and parishes should mobilise their membership to support and strengthen Nuclear Weapons Free Zones, which are established in Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and Africa and are proposed for other inhabited regions.
It especially recommends that churches engage with other religions to advocate for the Nuclear Weapons Free Zones during the WCC "Decade to Overcome Violence".
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, has previously called on countries to uphold the international Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Church leaders have also urged the British Government to spell out the conditions under which it might forego a replacement of Trident.
The minute comes after Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches said that the spread of nuclear weapons technology was "an outrage to all humanity".