Uniting Church in Australia President, Reverend Gregor Henderson, has on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Peace, this Sunday 21st September, called on Australians to believe in peace. He also spoke about the need for all people to work together to bring peace to the world, especially to end the threat of nuclear weapons.
The World Council of Churches hosts an International Day of Prayer for Peace, to coincide with the UN initiative.
“I encourage all Australians to be actively involved in peacemaking, working together to overcome the violence that causes so much suffering. To bring peace to the earth we must stand up and challenge the barriers that separate people from each other in our local communities, in our society and in our world.
“I invite all Christians and people of faith to pray for peace on this day, joining with millions around the world who are doing the same,” Rev Henderson said.
“We must also commit to dealing with the greatest threat to peace – the continued existence of nuclear weapons in our world.
“Nuclear weapons are an obscenity and an expression of the brokenness in our world. They breed relationships of distrust, difference and fear. On this International Day of Prayer for Peace we must instead work to forge relationships which celebrate our common humanity and breed hope amongst all peoples.”
Rev Henderson said that we will never achieve lasting peace anywhere in the world through the possession of weapons of fear. He said as long as some states have nuclear weapons, the threat of their use remains.
“We are particularly concerned with the state of the international disarmament regime. It must be remembered that five nuclear weapons states committed, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to work towards full disarmament.
“These nations – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China – have failed to live up to this commitment and while they continue to develop their arsenals undermine the Treaty and risk devastating war.
“I ask all Australians, on 21 September, this International Day of Peace, to remember that life is precious and fragile, and that to build a world of peace we must first believe in peace. Please join us – it is time to believe in peace and to redouble our efforts to build a world of peace.”