NAE President Leith Anderson sent a letter to all U.S. senators asking them to approve language in the FY 16 appropriations for the Department of Defense that would strengthen the prohibition of torture in U.S. law.

Dear Senator,

As you authorize FY16 appropriations for the Department of Defense, please approve language in an amendment to be offered by Senators McCain and Feinstein that would strengthen the prohibition of torture in U.S. law and apply the Army Field Manual interrogation policies and standards to all personnel and facilities operated or controlled by our government.

The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) opposes the use of torture as a violation of basic human dignity that is incompatible with our beliefs in the sanctity of human life. The use of torture is also inconsistent with American values, undermines our moral standing in the world and may contribute to an environment in which captured U.S. personnel are subjected to torture.

The NAE’s position is set forth in “An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture,” available at, and reaffirmed in a recent NAE statement,

While the use of torture is currently prohibited across all government agencies by executive order, this fundamental principle must be enshrined in law, to ensure that no future president may authorize the use of torture.

We are grateful for your leadership and pray that God will guide you as you consider how best to defend our nation.


Leith Anderson

Leith Anderson
Leith Anderson is president emeritus of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor emeritus of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He served as NAE president from 2007-2019, after twice serving as interim president. He served as senior pastor of Wooddale Church for 35 years before retiring in 2011. He has been published in many periodicals and has written over 20 books. Anderson has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Bradley University and Denver Seminary.