75 years after the destruction of Hiroshima with one nuclear weapon, religious groups across Australia are raising the call for Australia to sign and ratify the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
An interfaith open letter endorsed by 61 faith organisations calls for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese to ensure Australia joins the Treaty.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, in his role as a member of the Australian Catholic Bishop Conferences’ Bishops Commission for Social Justice, is among the signatories.
The letter can be found below:
Interfaith Open Letter in support of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
To: the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition, August 2020
We, the undersigned leaders of religious organisations and faith groups, express our grave concern with the persistent global threat posed by nuclear weapons.
In each of our faith communities, we believe we are called to pursue peace and to love and care for all humanity and all creation. Collectively, our faith leads us to reject weapons designed to cause mass death and destruction and instil terror and fear. It is this faith that compels us to act for the eradication of weapons of mass destruction.
Seventy-five years on from the horrific atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the whole earth remains under the threat of nuclear weapons. Well-intentioned efforts over the decades have failed to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons or to achieve total nuclear disarmament.
We believe nuclear weapons are illegitimate, inhumane and indiscriminate. They have the power to extinguish in minutes everyone and everything that humankind holds dear.
We continue to witness massive investment in existing and new nuclear weaponry and are deeply concerned that nine heads-of-state hold such power over the global community. Nuclear arms control agreements are expiring, languishing or collapsing.
We are heartened by the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Negotiated by a majority of nations, the new treaty champions collective security beyond nuclear weapons. It sets the new highest standard for nations seeking nuclear abolition, to ensure these weapons are never used again. It is a treaty that cannot be bent to suit the wishes of the nuclear-armed.
Australia claims to support nuclear disarmament yet, to our deep disappointment, our nation remains outside the TPNW.
As people of faith across Australia we join together in one voice to urge the Australian Government to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Our future depends on the successful implementation of this treaty.
- The Most Reverend Geoffrey Smith Archbishop of Adelaide and Primate Anglican Church of Australia
- Australasian Muslim Times
- Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv DD STL, Chairperson Bishops Commission for Social Justice Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
- Right Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard Executive Director Australia Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University
- Australian Jewish Democratic Society
- Australian Raelian Movement
- Australian Student Christian Movement
- Ballarat Interfaith Network
- Believing Women for a Culture of Peace
- Brigidine Sisters Kildara Centre
- Judith McKinlay and Jared Mitchell, Co-Chairs Canberra Region Presbytery, Uniting Church in Australia
- Carmelite Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation Commission for Australia & Timor-Leste
- Peter Smith, Justice and Peace Promoter Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
- Br Peter Carroll FMS, President, and Anne Walker, National Executive Director Catholic Religious Australia
- Christians for Peace Newcastle
- Rev Dr Patrick McInerney, Director Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations
- Dr Patricia Madigan OP, Executive Director Dominican Centre for Interfaith Ministry, Education and Research (CIMER)
- Phil Glendenning AM, Director Edmund Rice Centre
- Rev Dr Gordon Preece, Chair Ethos: Centre for Christianity & Society
- Michael Wells, PSM, President Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils
- Hashomer Hatzair Australia
- Rev Shigenobu Watanabe Hongwanji Buddhist Mission of Australia
- Inner West Chavurah
- Mohamed Mohideen, President Islamic Council of Victoria
- Jewish Labour Bund
- Jewish Voices for Peace and Justice NSW
- Jewish Voices for Power Justice and Peace Committee, Tasmanian Quakers
- Rev Dr Gordon Preece, Chair Melbourne Anglican Diocese Social Responsibilities Committee
- Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church
- Father Claude Mostowik msc, Director Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace Centre (Australian Province)
- Stancea Vichie, Congregational Leader Missionary Sisters of Service
- Philippa Rowland, President Multifaith Association of South Australia
- Muslim Charitable Foundation
- Muslim Women’s Association of South Australia
- Bishop Phillip Huggins, President National Council of Churches in Australia
- NSW Ecumenical Council
- Office of Justice and Peace Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
- Pace e Bene Australia, Inc
- Rev James Bhagwan, General Secretary Pacific Conference of Churches
- Rev Dr Manas Ghosh, Minister Parramatta Mission
- Father Claude Mostowik msc, President Pax Christi Australia
- Dr Carolyn Tan, Chair Public Affairs Commission of the Anglican Church of Australia
- Queensland Faith Communities Council
- Religions for Peace
- Ann Zubrick, Presiding Clerk Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia
- Shepparton Interfaith Network
- Jatinder Singh Sikh Youth Australia
- Sr Monica Cavanagh, Congregational Leader Sisters of St Joseph
- Chris Steains, General Director Soka Gakkai International Australia
- Temple Society Australia Regional Council
- Dr Deidre Palmer, President Uniting Church in Australia
- Rev Dr Gordon Preece, Honorary Director University of Divinity, Religion and Social Policy Network
- Swami Sunishthananda, Vice President Vedanta Centre of Melbourne
- Victorian Quakers
- Alexander Scutt, Leader Wellspring Community Australia
- Whittlesea Interfaith Network
With thanks to The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).