The Salvation Army's Position on Suicide
The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of human life. It considers each person to be of infinite value and each life a gift from God to be cherished, nurtured and redeemed. Human life is sacred because it is made in the image of God and has an eternal destiny (Genesis 1:27). Sacredness is not conferred, nor can it be taken away by human agreement.
Taking one's own life is a denial of life's value, a denial of hope and of the power of God to sustain and bring people through difficult and trying times (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). Suicide is never an acceptable option; we deplore those messages in secular culture that glamorize and promote self-destruction.
The Salvation Army recognizes the immense and diverse struggles individuals face and that sometimes people conclude suicide is their best option. Salvationists and Salvation Army programs must seek to be sensitive and responsive to individuals wrestling with issues that could precipitate suicide so that compassion, assistance and sound Christian counseling can be provided.
The Salvation Army believes it is important to communicate the salvation, new life, hope and healing found in the love of Jesus Christ. We recognize the devastating effects that suicide may have on family and friends. At those times, The Salvation Army stands ready to offer support, counsel, and comfort.
Recommended for approval by the Commissioners' Conference February 2005
Approved by International Headquarters August 2005