In a speech in Berlin today, President Obama pledged to pursue new negotiations with Russia and other countries aimed at reducing the risks of nuclear proliferation, terrorism and war. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) applauds these proposals as important steps toward reducing these threats.

“With implementation of the New START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty] with Russia now underway, we are encouraged that the number of nuclear weapons aimed at the United States is declining,” said NAE President Leith Anderson. “But even when New START is fully implemented, there will be far too many nuclear warheads. President Obama is right to proceed slowly and carefully, but we must not rest until nuclear weapons no longer threaten the future of humankind.”

In a 2011 resolution the NAE called for mutual reductions in current nuclear stockpiles, as well as ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The NAE resolution states, “With their unique destructive potential, nuclear weapons profoundly threaten the lives and prosperity of future generations, and of all God’s creatures.”

Echoing the bipartisan call of senior statesmen including former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, and former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn, the NAE resolution also urged a reexamination of the moral and ethical basis for the doctrine of nuclear deterrence: “In an age where the most likely nuclear foe is not another nation state with property and people to protect, but a terrorist group with no specific location that could be targeted for retaliation, the very existence of nuclear weapons may be a liability rather than an asset.”

“President Obama’s speech is a step in the right direction,” Anderson said. “We call on evangelicals to pray for world leaders as they seek to end the threat of nuclear holocaust.”