Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele is one of 21 Christian leaders from across the country to sign a letter regarding the war in Yemen. Coordinated by Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), the letter was sent to Congress, including the leadership of the House and Senate and relevant committees.
“Now entering its fifth year, [the war] has brought unimaginable horrors upon the Yemeni people, especially children,” the letter said, in part. Noting that the war has sparked the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, the letter urged elected leaders “to exhaust every possible legislative option to end US support for the war in Yemen; hold all warring parties accountable; and help foster peace that people of Yemen desperately need and deserve.”
The full text of the letter follows:
“Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Minority Leader McCarthy,
“As Christian faith leaders from across the United States, we write to you about the war in Yemen. Now entering its fifth year, it has brought unimaginable horrors upon the Yemeni people, especially children. Collectively, we represent tens of millions of constituents in every state. We thank you and Congress for playing a key role in pushing for humanitarian relief and ensuring the U.S. government does more to apply pressure to the warring parties, as most recently demonstrated through its unprecedented passage of the Yemen War Powers Resolution. We believe that the President’s veto of that Resolution must strengthen the resolve of Congress to ratchet down the fighting and help broker peace.
“We therefore urge you, as elected leaders, to exhaust every possible legislative option to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen; hold all warring parties accountable; and help foster peace that people of Yemen desperately need and deserve. Given the magnitude of human suffering as a result of this war, we call for the immediate end to any policy that continues military support in the form of intelligence, logistical support and through the sale and transfer of weapons.
“The war in Yemen has sparked the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and all parties are to blame. The fighting has killed innocent civilians, destroyed health clinics, schools, factories, farms, and precipitated a severe cholera epidemic that has spiked in the number of confirmed cases in recent months. Yemen’s economy has been halved since 2015. Food prices have soared even as household incomes have dwindled. 80% of Yemenis now live below the poverty line, and as a result, nearly 16 million Yemenis do not know where their next meal is coming from. Children, in particular, are among the most vulnerable; with more than one million children malnourished. Given the incredibly bleak humanitarian situation, we call upon Congress to support robust humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen.
“A recent report by the United Nations Development Program reveals perhaps the grimmest statistic to date: nearly 250,000 Yemenis will have died as a result of this war by the end of this year; “of the dead, 60 percent are children under the age of five.”1
“We ask that you take advantage of the political momentum built in Congress to push for an end to the fighting and to help broker peace.
“Our faith compels us to care for the most vulnerable and work for peaceful ends to conflict. Like the prophet Amos, we long for the day when “justice will roll down like waters” (Amos 5:24) for the people of Yemen and throughout the world. As people of faith we will continue to pray for peace in Yemen, and a future for her children, but we call on you, our elected leaders, to make the tangible actions to put an end to this conflict.”