An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.  - Gandhi

Religious Organization Death Penalty Statements

Christian Organizations

American Baptist USA

Therefore, the General Board of the American Baptist Churches recommends the abolition of capital punishment in those states which still practice it and urges churches and members of our American Baptist constituency to support groups and agencies working for the abolition of capital punishment in those governmental jurisdictions of the U.S. where it is still authorized by law.

Catholic Church

Approved by the U. S. Bishop in November 1980:

In 1974, out of a commitment to the value and dignity of human life, the U. S. Catholic Conference, by a substantial majority, voted to declare its opposition to capital punishment […]

Christian Church (DOC)

We believe the death penalty to be contrary to God’s passion for justice.  Criminal action is a reflection of human brokenness and sin…The intentional taking of life denies God’s intent for humanity.  We believe this to be the case with the death penalty…THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 17-21, 2003: 1. Calls upon elected officials to abolish the death penalty in the United States […]

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regards the question of whether and in what circumstances the state should impose capital punishment as a matter to be decided solely by the prescribed processes of civil law.  We neither promote nor oppose capital punishment.

Church of the Nazarene

No Capital Punishment Statement

Episcopal Church

That this 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church reaffirm the position taken in opposition to capital punishment by the 1958, 1969, and 1979 General Conventions; Resolved, That this 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church urge the provinces, dioceses, parishes, missions, and individual members of this Church to engage in serious study on the subject of capital punishment and work actively to abolish the death penalty in their states […]

Evangelical Lutheran (America)

The practice of the death penalty undermines any possible moral message we might want to ‘send.’ It is not fair and fails to make society better or safer. The message conveyed by an execution, reflected in the attention it receives from the public, is one of brutality and violence.

Friends (Quakers)

The following beliefs are common to most Quakers … That all persons have inherent worth, independent of their gender, race, age, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation.  Their opposition to sexism, racism, religious intolerance, warfare, the death penalty … comes from their ‘inner Light’ belief.

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

The Lutheran Witness May 16, 1976:

In 1967 The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod stated its position ‘that capital punishment is in accord with the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions’

Mennonite Brethren US Conference

We resolve that Mennonite Church USA appeal to state and federal governments to abolish the death penalty.

National Council of Churches of Christ

The National Council of Churches has firmly stated its opposition to the death penalty and continues to do so since ultimate judgment rests with God, the creator of life.

Presbyterian Church USA

Starting in 1959, the General Assembly, believing that capital punishment cannot be condoned by an interpretation of the Bible based upon the revelation of God’s love in Jesus Christ,’called on all Christians to seek the redemption of evil doers and not their death,’ and added that the use of the death penalty tends to brutalize the society that condones it […]

Southern Baptist Convention

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge that capital punishment be applied as justly and as fairly as possible without undue delay, without reference to the race, class, or status of the guilty; and Be it further RESOLVED, That we call on civil magistrates to use humane means in administering capital punishment.

United Church of Christ

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Twenty-second General Synod of the United Church of Christ reaffirms the long-standing opposition within the United Church of Christ to the death penalty and urges the abolition of capital punishment as a means of working for justice […]

United Methodist Church

We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings….For this reason, we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes.  FROM: The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church-2004…At the 1956 General Conference in Minneapolis, delegates first passed legislation that put the church officially as opposed to the death penalty […]

Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1974 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association continues to oppose the death penalty in the United States and Canada, and urges all Unitarian Universalists and their local churches and fellowships to oppose any attempts to restore or continue it in any form.

Other Faiths


There is no common position among Buddhists on capital punishment, but many emphasize nonviolence and appreciation for life. The Buddha objected to capital punishment mainly because it involves cruelty and killing.


The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) calls for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.


Since 1959, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) have formally opposed the death penalty. All of the major Jewish movements in the United States either advocate for the abolition of the death penalty or have called for at least a temporary moratorium on its use.