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Declaration of the Luxembourg Council of Christian Churches concerning torture

Conscious of the risk that the practice of torture becomes acceptable, we, the Churches and member communities of the Luxembourg Council of Churches, wish to reassert firmly and without ambiguity that torture is prohibited. This prohibition seems to us to be endangered by the way in which torture has been justified by the fight against terrorism and the abduction or taking of hostages.

To use the fight against terrorism to legitimise the repression of opposition groups or minorities is to open an important breach in the present international laws which absolutely and universally prohibit the practice of torture. It is also to deny the absolute principle of the dignity of the individual, the love of neighbour, dialogue, human fellowship and the search for peace. The end never justifies the means. Although the fight against terrorism is legitimate and necessary, to do so by methods which are themselves based on terror can only reinforce terrorism and its violent consequences.

As Christians we are called to carry Christ’s message of non-violence and to share in God’s mission of justice and peace and the respect of universal human dignity. In doing this we want to bear a concrete ecumenical witness and to demonstrate the unity of Christians in saying “no” to these destructive practices, and to communicate this to all authorities.

We salute all the men and women who are engaged in the struggle against torture and capital punishment. We call on all the members of our Churches and communities to engage in action for the victims of torture, and to be workers for justice and builders of peace.

Finally, we recall that, very often, economic inequality and discrimination are the breeding ground in which violations of human rights flourish, such as torture and the restrictions on civil liberty which follow in the wake of the fight against terrorism.

Luxembourg, December 10th, 2006.

 
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