Some Christian Leaders Voice Support for Imperfect Iran Framework Deal


Four dozen Christian leaders voiced support for a framework agreement for a peaceful path to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons in a full-page ad in Roll Call paid for by Sojourners, a Washington-based social justice ministry founded and led by author and public theologian Jim Wallis.

Under a “political understanding” announced April 2 with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany, Iran promised to make drastic cuts to its nuclear program in return for the gradual lifting of sanctions.

Supporters of the plan say it could end a 13-year nuclear standoff, and might be a turning point in normalizing Iran’s relationship to the West, which has been adversarial since the country’s Islamic revolution of 1979. The plan faces opposition in Congress from Republicans who view the deal as soft on Iran.

Baptists David Gushee, director of Mercer University’s Center for Theology and Public Life; Roy Medley, general secretary of the American Baptist Churches USA; Suzii Paynter, executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship; and LeDayne McLeese Polaski, executive director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, all joined other faith leaders in welcoming the framework agreement.

“As followers of Christ, we begin with the things that Jesus instructed us to do,” the statement said. “Whenever Christians are responding to situations of conflict, to issues of war and peace, Jesus must always be our starting point.”

For that reason, the faith leaders said they must start with the question, “What can we best do to make peace?”

“At the same time, our biblical faith tradition also cautions us about the persistent potential of evil,” they continued. For that reason, they said, their faith traditions also “are careful to trust not in words alone, but in actions that are fully transparent.”

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SOUCE: Baptist News Global
Bob Allen

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