Interfaith Statements Against Torture

Catholic Church

Since 1965 The church condemns and the Second Vatican Council all actions violating human integrity, including mutilation, physical or mental torture.

The Code of Canon Law from 1981 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church of 1987 condemn torture and call for its abolishment.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes that “torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity”

The Vatican signed and ratified the International Convention Against Torture of 1984.

Cardinal Renato Martino President of The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace stated in 2005 that “Torture is the humiliation of another human being. And so the Church does not condone this method of extracting the truth”.

In an address during the 12th World Congress of the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Cares in 2007 the Pope Benedict XVI stated that the prohibition of torture “cannot be challenged in any circumstances”

He also stated that “Governments must take care to avoid punitive approaches that undermine or degrade the dignity of prisoners”.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published a report in July 2008 condemning torture.


Jewish law strictly prohibits “punitive torture” against criminals, “intimidating torture” against political dissidents, or “extraction torture” to prompt confessions.


One of the major precepts of Buddhism, based on compassion, prohibits killing, hurting and torturing another human being.


Shaykh Abdool Rahman Khan, ICNA Council for Social Justice (December 2010): Even in Islamic law a person cannot be tortured to confession. Such confession is not valid and he gives any information under duress then the information extracted cannot be used against him.

Imam Abdullah, Muslim chaplain at Duke University: Torture is one of the ugliest and most despicable of such aggressions. Whether government-sponsored or not, torturing a fellow human being in any situation denies that person’s humanity all together.

Hussein Rashid, instructor at the Center for Spiritual Inquiry at Park Avenue Christian Church and based at Hofstra University (May 4, 2009): We, the Muslim-American community, condemn torture. It is irreligious, immoral, and unethical.