Pull troops out of Afghanistan says church leader

By agency reporter
September 8, 2009

The British government should pull its troops out of Afghanistan, according to the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Wales.

On Tuesday 8 September 2009, Tte Rev Haydn Thomas will call on Gordon Brown to 'return to his roots as son of the manse by basing his foreign policy on Christian principles'.

“Is a war which is winning us nothing but enemies the most effective way of preventing massacres like the one in London four years ago?”, Rev Thomas will ask in his final address as Moderator.

“The world has lost its way. Answering terrorism with terrorism is not the answer. Four times more British soldiers have already died in Afghanistan than were civilians killed on the seventh of July. We must find a different way to address the issue: rediscover diplomacy and reconciliation, remind ourselves and our politicians that there is another way, the way of Christ.”

On Monday, the General Assembly voted in favour of putting pressure on Gordon Brown to pull British troops out of Afghanistan.

The Moderator will also argue that the Christian way is absent from economic dealings: “We can clearly see the side-effects of bankers’ greed: the country in tremendous debt but the bankers still earning huge bonuses. Our priorities are completely messed up and this can be seen everywhere, from footballers’ salaries to covering up the cross in an episode of Coronation Street.”

“The Church’s decline is an important factor in all this. But where there is a will there is a way. I would like for us Christians to stop apologising for our weaknesses and to concentrate instead on rediscovering how to show Christ to the world. In our actions, in our words and even as we vote, we can show that greed and terror and immorality need not define our society.”

Mr Thomas’ address will be delivered tonight at Lampeter University.

Shortly afterwards, the Rev Gwenda Richards from Caernarfon, will be installed as Moderator for 2009-10.

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