The National Association of Evangelicals is deeply concerned with the human element in the Viet Nam conflict. As an association which includes groups opposed to the principle of war, we nevertheless stand together in our deep concern regarding the plight of prisoners of war.

On March 26, 1964, U.S. Army Adviser, Capt. Floyd J. Thompson, was captured in South Vietnam, thus becoming the first American POW in that conflict. Since that time, over 1,600 Americans have been added to the category of POW or MIA. Because North Vietnam has flagrantly violated the provision of the Geneva Convention it is not known how many prisoners are actually being held.

The North Vietnamese have also prevented the free exchange of mail between these prisoners and their families, the release of the seriously sick and wounded, and the international inspection of POW facilities.

The National Association of Evangelicals deplores the cruel and inhuman punishment North Vietnam has inflicted upon both the prisoners and their families by ignoring the Geneva Convention.

The National Association of Evangelicals commends those efforts of the President that will help to restore peace in South Asia and to obtain the release of the POWs. We note with gratitude that Congress adopted SJR 189 which designated Sunday, March 26, 1972, as a national day of prayer and the following week as a “National Week of Concern for Prisoners of War/Missing in Action.”

We urge the resumption and continuation of meaningful and sincere negotiations for the exchange of all POWs. We ask all Christians to pray fervently that God will intervene and bring about the early release of all Americans being held prisoner in North Vietnam.