The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) calls on leaders in the United States and Iran to work toward de-escalation of tensions and the restoration of constructive engagement that can sustain a just and lasting peace. Both parties must show restraint and refrain from retaliation, which can too easily escalate and lead to a war that neither side wants.

As the NAE’s “For the Health of the Nation” document states, “The pursuit of peace requires the patient cultivation of relationships among world leaders, diplomats and citizens that are based on respect and understanding.”

We are grateful for the warm friendship between many Americans and Iranians, and for the contributions of more than one million Iranian-Americans who help create better understanding between our countries. We especially cherish the relationships between American and Iranian Christians. We pray for God’s blessing on the people of both countries.

The peaceful and just settling of disputes is a gift of common grace that requires sustained human action. The legitimate concerns of both sides must be addressed. We pray for the diplomats and military leaders in both countries to avoid precipitous actions, to establish channels of communication and negotiation, and to seek God’s guidance in the pursuit of peace.