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[Press Release] The gospel choice: an unconditional "no" to the death penalty

January 2007

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Press Release


Paris, 29 January 2007

To date, 122 States no longer apply the death penalty, whether in practice or in law. But 74 countries still do. 20,000 people are currently awaiting execution. The death penalty is often imposed in conditions which do not guarantee the right to a fair trial by international standards. And these death sentences are being passed even though not one international law court – notably the International Criminal Court – includes the death penalty in its list of imposable sentences. In fact, since 1990, over 40 countries have abolished this penalty for any crime, offering hope that we are gradually moving towards its universal abolition.

Paris (France) is hosting the 3rd World Congress against the Death Penalty from 1st to 3rd February 2007, bringing together abolitionists from every continent. Amongst them will be the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT), and a number of African (ACAT Cameroon and ACAT Madagascar) and European members (ACAT France and ACAT Switzerland) will be participating in round table discussions and meetings to exchange experiences and develop workable strategies against the death penalty.

FIACAT is calling on all Christian Churches the world over to proclaim publicly and resolutely their support for the total and unconditional abolition of the death penalty. It is imperative that Christians declare clearly and without reservation their firm opposition to the death penalty in any time, place or circumstance.

The Churches have a duty to proclaim the inviolable dignity of human beings and human life, as set out in both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the Scriptures. In truth, the Christian faith always implies that there is hope for Man whom God will never abandon, for a person may never be summarized merely by their actions. The Gospel invites us to find in every person, be they the vilest assassin or most monstrous terrorist, the presence of God and the face of Christ.

FIACAT therefore calls on Christians of every denomination to declare: No “to the death penalty! Yes to life, the Gospel choice!

Contact : Guillaume Colin - pc-fi.acat@wanadoo.fr

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