Canadian churches back action against small arms - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
September 20, 2005

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Canadian churches back action against small arms

-20/09/05

Coinciding with a call this week from the World Council of Churches, Project Ploughshares, the peace agency of the Canadian Council of Churches, has launched a campaign against small arms and light weapons.

Small arms, say campaigners, are used in the vast majority of the estimated 350,000 violent deaths occurring throughout the world annually. They are also employed in dozens of wars and civil conflicts.

Announcing the start of the Canadian initiative, Project Ploughsharesí director John Siebert explained: ìPublic pressure is essential to encourage governments to act, and to ensure a constructive outcome to the forthcoming United Nations Small Arms Review Conference in July 2006.î

The Toronto-based agency says that there are now more than 600 million small arms and light weapons in circulation worldwide.

ìWe are calling on churches and all Canadians to join with us in advocating measures to restore the security and well-being of people in gun-affected regions,î Siebert declared.

The WCC and many of its members, including the Canadian churches, will be present for the 2006 UN Review Conference. But there are concerns that, ironically, it might be pushed down the international agenda by terrorism related issues.

The Rev Karen Hamilton, general secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches, commented: ìWe have a unique opportunity to raise awareness and speak out about the grave humanitarian suffering caused by small arms proliferation and misuse.î

The campaign also aims to highlight the underlying conditions that lead people to take up and use weapons.

The Canadian Council of Churches is the largest ecumenical body in Canada, now representing 19 churches of Anglican, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions.

In its new policy statement on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, the World Council of Churches urged churches to exercise their ìunique potentialî to curb demand for guns and ìto affirm God's vision of life in peace and fullnessî by ìchanging public attitudes, shaping community values and becoming a public voice against gun violence.î

[Ecumenical News International contributed to this report. Our thanks.]

Find books now:

Canadian churches back action against small arms

-20/09/05

Coinciding with a call this week from the World Council of Churches, Project Ploughshares, the peace agency of the Canadian Council of Churches, has launched a campaign against small arms and light weapons.

Small arms, say campaigners, are used in the vast majority of the estimated 350,000 violent deaths occurring throughout the world annually. They are also employed in dozens of wars and civil conflicts.

Announcing the start of the Canadian initiative, Project Ploughshares' director John Siebert explained: 'Public pressure is essential to encourage governments to act, and to ensure a constructive outcome to the forthcoming United Nations Small Arms Review Conference in July 2006.'

The Toronto-based agency says that there are now more than 600 million small arms and light weapons in circulation worldwide.

'We are calling on churches and all Canadians to join with us in advocating measures to restore the security and well-being of people in gun-affected regions,' Siebert declared.

The WCC and many of its members, including the Canadian churches, will be present for the 2006 UN Review Conference. But there are concerns that, ironically, it might be pushed down the international agenda by terrorism related issues.

The Rev Karen Hamilton, general secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches, commented: 'We have a unique opportunity to raise awareness and speak out about the grave humanitarian suffering caused by small arms proliferation and misuse.'

The campaign also aims to highlight the underlying conditions that lead people to take up and use weapons.

The Canadian Council of Churches is the largest ecumenical body in Canada, now representing 19 churches of Anglican, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions.

In its new policy statement on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, the World Council of Churches urged churches to exercise their 'unique potential' to curb demand for guns and 'to affirm God's vision of life in peace and fullness' by 'changing public attitudes, shaping community values and becoming a public voice against gun violence.'

[Ecumenical News International contributed to this report. Our thanks.]

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