World Peace and disarmament
The Salvation Army, as part of the universal Christian Church, seeks the establishment of peace as proclaimed by Jesus Christ. Salvationists recognise that the world’s problems cannot be solved by force, and that greed and the widespread desire for domination, to which all men everywhere are prone, poison the souls of men and sow seeds of conflict.
Committed to preaching and practising the Christian principles of peaceful and caring co-existence, and with its particular concern for the underprivileged, The Salvation Army adds its voice and influence to the rapidly intensifying appeal sounding from the five continents for a halt to the arms race and the diverting of funds thus released to socio-economic growth throughout the world. Disarmament, peace and development are inextricably linked.
With members of its own confessional family in 85 countries, The Salvation Army is keenly sensitive to the fear, anxiety and distrust besetting all nations. Experience in ministering to the spiritual and social needs of people of vastly differing cultures and situations teaches that the greatest physical requirement of the world is relief from escalation of terrifying weapons of mass destruction.
While acknowledging the value of the United Nations Organisation as a forum in which tensions are eased and more disastrous conflicts are avoided, The Salvation Army shares the growing disappointment and sorrow that the principal goal of the United Nations Charter, ‘to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’, has not yet been achieved.
Accordingly, The Salvation Army pleads that in a spirit of humanity, sincerity and goodwill, leaders of all nations will seek, under God, the inauguration of a new era of mutual trust, confidence, understanding and cooperation in which the foundation purposes of the charter may be achieved, and the urgently required climate of stability, security and progress may be produced.
Recognising the necessity for nations to safeguard their security, The Salvation Army nevertheless believes that in a nuclear age disarmament and world peace are fundamental to human existence and must supersede national self-interest.
Therefore, on Christian, moral and humanitarian grounds, The Salvation Army:
1. entreats the United Nations Organisation strenuously to maintain its efforts for world peace, and member states to fulfil their obligation to abide by the provisions of the charter, to seek the resolution of disputes by peaceful means and to refrain from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations;
2. calls upon all governments forthwith to reduce their total weapon capability to the minimum level necessary for present security, and to continue to seek means to reduce the number of nuclear warheads and find ways to cease production of all machinery associated with their use;
3. urges world leaders to take positive actions to remove causes of mistrust, fear, tension and hostility, to strengthen institutions for maintaining peace, and to show a transparent determination to move toward elimination of the spectre of nuclear conflict which now imperils civilisation;
4. recommends that in a world of finite resources, benefits to be derived from re-allocation of excessive military expenditure should be identified, and the sharing of these resources for development programmes at home and abroad be planned in good faith, with special regard to alleviating world hunger and poverty;
5. supports in principle the call of the General Assembly 37th Session made on 30 November 1982 to member states, United Nations and non-governmental organisations, to make 1986 the culmination of efforts to establish harmony between the peoples of the world through an effective International Year for Peace.
Reaffirming Christian belief in the love of God for all peoples and in the standard of righteousness and justice set forth in the Bible as the basis for harmonious interpersonal and international relationships, we make this response to the trauma of these days.
Salvationists pledge themselves to engage in prayer for peace and also to join Christians everywhere in seeking to revitalise the Church’s unique witness to the source of true peace, God himself, exemplifying convincingly the Christlike spirit of brotherly love, mutual concern and honesty in all their relationships as their distinctive contribution to the peace of all mankind.