Faith Statement on Escalating Violence with Iran
January 3, 2020 PDF of this Statement
As people of faith, we condemn the United States’ dangerous aggression towards Iran, including the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the deployment of additional troops to the region. We urge the Administration to step back from the brink of war. Our faith communities see the futility of war, and its power to dehumanize. We know that human flourishing entails breaking cycles of violence, being courageous peacemakers, and focusing on the root causes of conflict. Violent conflict is a path of mutual destruction. Instead, all actors must move forward in a way that upholds our shared, sacred human dignity:
- All parties must begin by re-humanizing each other without excusing unjust and violent actions.
- The U.S. Administration must halt violent attacks and military escalations. It must return to a diplomatic process, recognizing that lasting peace requires a commitment to the shared well-being of every human, from Iran to the United States and everywhere in between.
- The U.S. Congress must act to reassert its war powers by refusing authorization for war with Iran and related attacks, and to block funding for war with Iran.
- U.S. actions and strategy in the region must address the root causes of the conflict, such as distrust, trauma, economic resources, and political influence.
- All of us must support nonviolent creative actions of resistance to any unjust and violent actions.
As communities of faith, we renounce the escalation of violence, and call on the United States to work towards lasting peace with Iran.
American Friends Service Committee
Center on Conscience and War
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
Churches for Middle East Peace
Coalition for Peace Action
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Conference of Superiors of Men (Catholic)
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
Faith in Public Life
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas- Institute Leadership Team
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
Peace and Nonviolence
Violence seems all pervasive and truly scary for many people. Are we made safer by responding to violence with violence? Is there a better, more Christian way? The Sisters of St. Agnes believe that peace and nonviolence is the appropriate response to violence. Why?
During the civil war in Nicaragua in the 1990s, three members of the Congregation of St. Agnes were killed. These tragedies, together with the 9-11 terrorist attacks on USA soil, heightened the Sisters’ consciousness of violence both at home and abroad. Instead of retaliation, they expressed their belief in nonviolence and committed to become peacemakers (like Jesus and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.).
The Sisters oppose war as a means of resolving conflict. They advocate for public policy that will address the political, social, economic and environmental causes of violence. They consistently support closing the School of the Americas (now known as the Western Hemisphere for Security Cooperation) because its graduates have committed atrocities against their fellow citizens in Latin American countries, including in Nicaragua. The Sisters support nuclear disarmament, and hold vigils in remembrance of the victims of nuclear bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Embracing diversity, they promote dialogue and understanding as a way of eliminating prejudice and discrimination.
More information on peace and nonviolence can be found at the following websites.
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Global Coalition for Peace
Institute for Peace and Justice - nonviolence curricula
Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service
Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA
Washington Peace Center
Peace Pulpit: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton blogs regularly about peace for the National Catholic Reporter
For more information contact:
Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA
320 County Road K
Fond du Lac, WI 54937-8158
Phone: (920) 907-2315
Fax: (920) 921-8177