Church of Scotland says Afghan War cannot be justified

By staff writers
31 May 2011

Leading representatives of the Church of Scotland have called for an end to the war in Afghanistan, and for UK troops to be called home as soon as possible.

The appeal was made at the Kirk's General Assembly, its national decision-making body, which ended at the weekend.

Convenor of the Presbyterian denomination's Church and Society Council, Ian Galloway, declared: "In 2002 the Church said the war in Afghanistan could only be justified if it met the criteria of legitimacy, liable to succeed, proportional in its implementation and limited in its effect on non combatants."

He continued: "Our view is that this war fails on all four counts and should ended now. These are political not military failures however, and so we recognise that there is a real need for those soldiers in Afghanistan to be supported and cared for including by the valuable work of chaplains."

The the Kirk's leaders reviewed four questions set our by a report to the General Assembly in 2002 as being benchmarks for a 'just war'.

The report was written by an ecumenical group under the banner of Action of Churches Together Scotland.

'Just war' theory seeks to limit conflict and violence. Other Christians argue that the message of the Gospel points towards active nonviolence rather than an accommodation to war.

More from Ekklesia on the Kirk Assembly: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/kirkgeneralassembly

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