The Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Dr. Richard Land has joined Jewish and Evangelical Christian leaders in calling for immediate economic sanctions to stop Iran from realizing their burgeoning desire to obtain a nuclear capability with which to militarily threaten peace in the Middle East.
The president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission collaborated with Paul de Vries, president of the New York Divinity School and leader of the New York Evangelicals, and Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, in issuing a statement Nov. 2 urging all governments to apply economic sanctions that would specifically target banks that work even indirectly with Iranian banks and firms or governments that export refined petroleum to Iran. They hope these steps will encourage diplomacy and the human rights efforts of Iranians living under the Ahmadinejad regime.
"We stand in solidarity with all people of goodwill both in the region and around the world in seeking to stop a nuclear Iran from grievously imperiling Israel, the Middle East and the world's peace," stated Land.
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Furthermore, Land noted, "Jesus commanded His followers to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world [Matt. 5:13-16]," he said. “In seeking meaningful sanctions against the current Iranian regime, we are attempting to be salt in preserving Israel and the entire region from bloody conflict and terrible loss of life. We are seeking to be light by expressing our commitment to the intrinsic value and invaluable worth of all of our fellow human beings, both inside and outside Iran, whose lives and liberties are in peril by the dangerous rogue regime which presently oppresses the Iranian people."
Recent Public Opinion Strategies polls reveal that 72 percent of American voters polled believe it is “unlikely” that Iran will live up to the type of nuclear agreement being discussed, while only 27 percent think it is “likely” they will. A full 39 percent say it is “not at all likely” that Iran will abide by the type of nuclear agreement being discussed in Vienna.
Land is one of over 50 signers of a letter sent to Congress by Christian Leaders for a Nuclear-Free Iran last month, calling for urgent action to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The letter urged a total arms embargo and a cut off of exports of refined petroleum products, including gasoline, as a firm yet peaceful measure against the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.