As Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, members of the Network of Christian Peace Organisations have written an open letter calling for the new government to work to ensure a peaceful resolution to the current tensions with Iran as well as seeking security throughout the United Kingdom as Brexit discussions continue.
The letter was coordinated by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and calls on the Prime Minister to “prioritise the work of authentic peace”. As Iran continues to hold a British oil tanker in the gulf and tensions between the United States and Iran continue to escalate, there is an increasing chance that Britain could be drawn in to further conflict in the Middle East with disastrous consequences.
John Cooper, Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation said: “As the new Prime Minister takes office this afternoon we pray for the wisdom, strength, and courage to seek peaceful solutions to the problems our country faces. We believe there is a different way of conducting international relations, focussing on bringing people together and dialogue rather than conflict and division. We encourage the Prime Minister to provide this leadership.”
The text of the letter can be downloaded and is pasted below:
Rt Hon Boris Johnson, MP
Office of the Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
Dear Prime Minister,
We live in times when communities are being fragmented by financial hardship and political uncertainty. Internationally, recent headlines about boats being seized by Iran once again raise the possibility of the UK stumbling into another war. All the while, unresolved questions around Brexit continue to threaten a peace so painstakingly built in Northern Ireland. It also opens-up wider questions about how we define security both collectively and internationally today. As the tensions with Iran clearly demonstrate, the need for continued diplomatic efforts to control and reduce the spread of nuclear weapons will continue to need constant attention.
As you lay out your agenda for the coming weeks, we ask that you prioritise the work of authentic peace. One built on justice and reconciliation. We ask that you seek peace by peaceful means, prioritising respectful dialogue, the use of international systems and networks and the measured and thoughtful deployment of negotiators and mediators. Then ensure you give sufficient time and attention for these approaches to make a difference.
Barbara Forbes, Church and Peace (UK Section)
Ian Ring, Coordinator of Community for Reconciliation
Paul Maxwell and Andrew Jackson, Co-Directors, CHIPS (Christian International Peace Service)
Sue Claydon, Chair of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship
Theresa Alessandro, Director of Pax Christi
John Cooper, Director of Fellowship of Reconciliation
Philip Austin, Coordinator of Northern Friends Peace Board
Martin Tiller, Co-Chair Christian CND