Presbyterians Call for Compliance with Nuclear Ban Treaty

2018 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), St. Louis, Missouri                                        PHOTO: Rev. Chris Lieberman

JUNE 20: The Presbyterian Church (USA) has issued a call to all its members “to take all actions such as might be effective in requiring full US compliance with the obligation to achieve nuclear disarmament under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons…”

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is the largest Presbyterian ecclesiastical body in the United Statesand approved the call, also known as the ‘Overture’, by consent at its biannual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri on June 20, 2018. The Overture is entitled “On Seeking God’s Peace Through Nuclear Disarmament in the 21st Century,” and was drafted by Presbyterians inEast Tennessee, with the help of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance. It was put on the agenda of the General Assembly by Presbyterians from Raleigh, North Carolina, supported by churches in Arizona and Ohio.

Building on the church’s long-standing position of opposition to nuclear weapons, the General Assembly’s action recognizes the urgency of the present moment, when nuclear weapons present a greater threat than at any time in the last fifty years, and the equally unprecedented opportunity presented by the adoption of the Nuclear Ban Treaty last summer at the United Nations.

“It is time for people of faith to step forward once again to provide leadership in the new global movement to achieve nuclear disarmament,” says the Overture.

 The Overture also calls on members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to:

  • Renounce the false god of nuclear security with its promise of catastrophic consequences;
  • Renounce any policy that threatens the death of millions of God’s children in any land with a single command and a single warhead;
  • Join in ecumenical discussion at the highest level to develop a collaborative strategy with Christian and other faith communities to effect the total elimination of nuclear weapons from the earth;
  • Make use of resources within the Presbyterian Church (USA) to educate members about the existential threat of nuclear weapons and effective actions that can be taken to address and eliminate that threat; and
  • Take the Five Risks Presbyterians Must Take for Peace

Full text of the Overture is at


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