PC(USA) leaders join other Christian groups in support of Iran nuclear agreement

More than 50 leaders sign letter urging Congress to back the deal

August 27, 2015

The ministers of foreign affairs of France, Germany, the European Union, Iran, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as Chinese and Russian diplomats announcing the framework for a Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program (Lausanne, April 2, 2015).

The ministers of foreign affairs of France, Germany, the European Union, Iran, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as Chinese and Russian diplomats announcing the framework for a Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program (Lausanne, April 2, 2015). —Photo courtesy U.S. Department of State

LOUISVILLE

A growing number of Christian organizations are coming forward in support of the recent nuclear agreement with Iran, which was negotiated by China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. Christian leaders are urging members of Congress to support it when it comes up for a vote in the coming weeks.

Leaders from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as well as other denominations including Catholic, Pentecostal and Quaker sent a letter to Congress earlier this week. In the letter, the leaders wrote, “The agreement with Iran will dramatically shrink and impose unprecedented constraints on Iran’s nuclear program. In exchange, the international community will begin to lift sanctions on Iran. It also establishes the most robust monitoring and inspection regime ever negotiated to verify Iran’s compliance with the restrictions on its nuclear program.”

The leaders said they felt called to speak out for the possibility of peace. “As faith leaders from the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons in war, we have a particular responsibility to speak boldly when opportunities arise that lead to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation at home and around the world. This historic accord moves us one small step closer to a world free of nuclear weapons.”

The letter deferred to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” The leaders said the agreement will move the world further away from the possibility of war and another nuclear-armed nation.

“There is no question we are all better off with this deal than without it,” the letter states. “Rejection of this deal would be a rejection of the historic progress our diplomats have made to make this world a safer place.”

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, director of the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness and the Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk for the Office of the General Assembly, were among the 53 leaders who signed the letter.

“In keeping with our own priority for discussion in decision making, the treaty gives relationships a chance to grow and defensiveness time to diminish,” said Parsons.

A final vote on the Iran deal is expected by mid-September. The Republican majority is expected to reject the agreement; however the president is expected to save it through a veto.

A number of pro-Israel organizations have been among the strong opponents to the deal saying they believe it will only make Iran stronger. Agreement supporters include many Jewish groups (J Street and Americans for Peace Now) as well as the Iranian Human Rights community.

  1. 1st- peace of christ to all. 2nd- It's ok to disagree 3rd - The Iran deal is a bad deal. PCUSA does not represent me. Please ask for thoughts before you draft/support such a letter. Iran wishes death and destruction on Israel. They must respect their right to exist. It's pretty simple. Why doesn't PCUSA get that? Maybe it's just me and Ineed to find a moderate church

    by Drew Sambell

    September 10, 2015

  2. The PCUSA is simply a delivery device for DNC policy. Priorities are all wrong. Focus should be on religious doctrine rather than political activism. The mass exodus of membership and churches only reinforces my argument.

    by Mike Marshall

    September 9, 2015

  3. This is really great news! It reminds me of how Jesus, as He worked his time on earth, spent so much of it in Rome dealing with international agreements. Of course, He had to cut it short because He needed to return to Jerusalem to support the political party He thought best, and put up signs for saving the environment. Jesus calls us to be peacemakers. He does not call us to support politics from the stance of the church. The church I am a part of has people that when you get to know them well, are extremely conservative. Others, as you get to know them, are extremely progressive. But the bottom line is no one cares, and no politics are discussed at the church, much less from the pulpit. Because we are ALL called to something much, much more important than politics. If only the PCUSA could understand something this simple. I am not against the stance they are taking (as I don't believe Jesus would be). I AM against them taking a stance. As I again believe Jesus would be._

    by johnmpls

    September 3, 2015

  4. Thank you for supporting this very important agreement.

    by Judy Lowe

    August 31, 2015

  5. Great! We need the support Christian loving people of all people and crave peace and not war.

    by Eugene Turner

    August 31, 2015

  6. This is one of those times when I am so proud of PCUSA. I am so grateful for PCUSA's support of the Iran nuclear agreement which I strongly believe is the way to the possibility of peace.

    by Mary Pat Brennan

    August 31, 2015

  7. Please stop this lunacy. The majority of the country opposes this deal. Democrat Senators Schumer and Menendez have come out against it. Now it has been revealed that not only does the deal not permit "anytime, anywhere" inspections, there is a side agreement permitting Iran to self-inspect and report on its weapons site. This deal makes nuclear conflict more likely. There is simply no excuse for PCUSA to take this stance on behalf of the denomination.

    by Todd Capitano

    August 27, 2015