MORE than 400 Chris
tian liberals from Churches in many countries condemned both sides in the Vietnam war at a six-day conference on religious freedom just ended in London. They said they stood guilty before mankind for failing to stop the conflict.
The conference was the 19th International Congress f o r L i b e r al Christianity and Religious Freedom, sponsored by an association of a similar name with headquarters at the Hague.
Delegates attended from the United States, Britain, East and West European countries and the Far East. They represented such Churches as the Dutch Reformed, the Lutherans, the Mennonites, the Swiss Free Christian Union and Unitarians.
It was attended by observers representing Catholic a n d Protestant Churches and the Jewish and Moslem faiths.
The conference theme was "The Spiritual Challenge to Man and Our Response".
U.N. PROPOSAL The resolution on Vietnam was among the most positive decisions. In it the Congress said the Vietnam conflict could escalate into nuclear war and added: "The violent slaughter and devastation in Vietnam is so great that all the nations concerned have an ethical responsibility to bring this war to an immediate end, and they stand guilty before mankind for failing to do so."
The Congress said it deplored: 1. The massive and growing American military presence in Vietnam; 2. The long-continued bombing of villages in the South and of targets a few miles from cities in the North; 3. That the government of North Vietnam has made no positive response to recent suggestions for a settlement, and 4. The continued infiltration of men and the transport of war material from North Vietnam to South Vietnam.
The Congress then called on the nations involved "immediately to agree to act upon the three points suggested by U.N. Secretary-General U Thant for the early stoppage of the Vietnamese war: I. The cessation of the bombing of North Vietnam; 2. The scaling down of all military operations by all parties in South Vietnam; and 3. The willingness of all parties to enter into discussions with those who are actually fighting."
The American Dr. Dana McLean Greeley, who visited Vietnam last summer, told the Congress : "If to contain Communism is our objective, it will not be accomplished by fire and steel, but by evidence of the fact that a dynamic democracy really works.