Peace came down at Eastertime

The General Board of Church & Society, the public policy agency of The United Methodist Church, celebrates the announcement of a framework for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. In June, a final accord will be reached as to how to implement the plan of action.

As persons of the Christian faith, we believe it is fitting that such a message filled with so much hope for peace would be announced at Eastertime.

We applaud the diplomatic efforts ... to negotiate an accord that is critical to a peaceful future for all.

We applaud the diplomatic efforts by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran to negotiate an accord that is critical to a peaceful future for all.

The United Methodist Social Principles insist that the “first moral duty of all nations is to work together to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them” (Book of Discipline, ¶165C). In this delicate situation, we affirm that peacekeeping is of the utmost importance. As the United Methodist Council of Bishops wrote in its study documents God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope & Action and In Defense of Creation: The Nuclear Crisis & Just Peace, we know “today’s nuclear peril is part of a complex ‘web of brokenness’ that people of faith and goodwill must confront.”

It is time for members of Congress to stifle their attempts to interfere in this crucial negotiation that could help ensure world peace by stabilizing a situation fraught with peril and complicated by unreasoned rhetoric.

We anticipate the release in June of the concrete steps that will ensure peace with Iran is not illusory, but a reality. Our denomination has repeatedly called upon the U.S. government to immediately work with all deliberate speed toward peaceful resolutions of issues with Iran. This framework suggests that such resolution is possible.

We praise the diligence of the negotiators in pursuing this highly sensitive agreement to establish an important process to avert nuclear confrontation. Any step toward achieving world peace assures the sanctity of God’s creation, for which we are thankful.

—The Rev. Dr. Susan T. Henry-Crowe, General Secretary
General Board of Church & Society
The United Methodist Church
April 2, 2015

Editor's note: The General Board of Church & Society is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. Prime responsibility of the board is to seek implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements on Christian social concerns of the General Conference, the denomination’s highest policy-making body. The board’s primary areas of ministry are Advocacy, Education & Leadership Formation, United Nations & International Affairs, and resourcing these areas for the denomination. It has offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City.

For more information about the negotiations, see "Commitments made, Iran and 6 powers face tough nuke talks," Associated Press, April 3.

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