Buddhist Leaders Urge Congress to Vote in Support of Iran Agreement
Dear Members of Congress,
As Buddhists, we live by a sacred calling to seek the peace and welfare of our human community. That is why we write to you today in support of the historic agreement to rein in Iran's nuclear program. We write, as Buddhist leaders in communities across the United States, urging Congress to recognize that supporting this agreement will make the world a safer place.
Our Buddhist communities bridge diverse backgrounds, but we hold in common the belief that the path to peace leads not through war, but through courageous and patient diplomacy. We further believe that nuclear non-proliferation and peace necessarily go hand-in–hand.
The July 2015 diplomatic agreement with Iran strengthens global efforts to guard against further nuclear proliferation by closing off all of Iran’s potential pathways to a nuclear weapon. By resolving this issue peacefully, this deal lessens the likelihood of another catastrophic war in the Middle East.
This agreement subjects Iran’s nuclear program to negotiated robust and stringent inpection regime. In exchange, the international community will begin to lift sanctions on Iran. It is our hope that these actions not only build security and benefit people in the surrounding region, but also relieve the suffering ordinary Iranians experience as a result of sanctions. As Buddhists, we believe all people inherently share an ultimate dignity and equality.
On behalf of our communities, we join with our brothers and sisters across the United States and around the world in urging Congress to recognize this historic opportunity for peace. For Congress to vote down this agreement would send a message to all nations rejecting dialogue as a way to resolve the world’s problems.
In gratitude for your consideration,
William Aiken, Soka Gakkai International-USA
Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi, Buddhist Association of the United States
Bishop Myokei Caine-Barrett, Nichiren Order of North America
Grace Burford & Carol Cook, Prescott AZ Insight Meditation SanghaJoshin Brian Byrnes, Upaya Zen Center
Hosho Peter Coyote, Vimala SanghaRev. Sanghwon Hwang, Won Buddhism of America
Mushim Patricia Ikeda, East Bay Meditation CenterJack Kornfield, Spirit Rock Center Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate
Acharya Fleet Maull, East Bay Meditation CenterKittisaro & Jai Mirchandani, The Dharma Foundation of New York
Rev. Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Village Zendo, New York CityMatthew Regan, International Buddhist Committee of Washington DC
Rev. Hozan Alan Senauke, Clear View Project
Gina Sharpe, Insight Meditation Society of New York
Rev. Gregory Kakumei Snyder, Brooklyn Zen Center
Sylvie Sun, Buddhist Global Relief
Kittisaro & Thanissara Weinberg, Insight Meditation Society of Tennessee
Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams, newDharma Community/Transformative Change