Why the Church Should Care
Though nuclear weapons may seem to many like a danger from the last century, the legacy of the Cold War haunts our young millennium. More than 20,000 nuclear weapons still exist in the stockpiles of nine nations (Russia, US, China, UK, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea), 95% of which belong to the US and Russia. The threat of increased nuclear proliferation exacerbates regional conflicts in Asia and the Middle East. And nuclear technology remains the holy grail of non-state groups who use terrorism as a tactic of war in an era of global powers.
The foreign policy establishment is increasingly raising the alarm that a world where nuclear weapons indefinitely exist is a world in which nuclear weapons will inevitably be used. Perilously few people, however, comprehend the magnitude of the danger presented by nuclear weapons. An annihilating exchange between nuclear superpowers has become less likely. But even a single nuclear terrorist attack in a major city would have devastating financial consequences worldwide. And new studies reveal that a limited nuclear war between regional rivals like India and Pakistan could have famine-inducing climatic effects touching a billion people around the world.
Though concern about the nuclear danger need not be theological, the comprehensive effects of a potential nuclear attack—spiritual, evangelistic, moral, physical, financial—must be a particular concern for disciples of Jesus Christ, and especially those dedicated to the global spread of the gospel.
Toward this end, the World Evangelical Alliance, representing 600 million Evangelical Christians worldwide, has formed a Global Task Force on Nuclear Weapons chaired by Rev. Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, a pastor, author, and the founder of the Two Futures Project.
The Task Force has the following three-fold mandate:
- Formulate and proclaim on behalf of the WEA a biblically grounded, theologically sound position regarding nuclear weapons in the second nuclear age (post-Cold War).
- Inform the global body of Christ about this position, and equip the church to act on it, with special emphasis on the 600 million Evangelicals worldwide.
- Open and engage church-based channels for Track II diplomacy to address and reduce the nuclear threat.