To coincide with the biggest celebration in the Christian calendar, Scotland’s church leaders have launched an Easter message with a significant challenge to all political parties on the issue of Trident.
In a joint open letter, Scottish clergy are demanding that the billions of pounds spent on nuclear weapons be used instead to help the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
With a general election looming, they also urge voters to make it clear to candidates of all parties that Scotland “should choose life over death and the alleviation of poverty over the replacement of Trident”.
The church leaders say the possession of nuclear weapons is “unjust and wrong” – and that violence “can be expressed in threat as well as in deed”.
They believe that tackling injustice, poverty and inequality would lead to a safer world for all, but concede that this cannot be achieved with “weapons of war”.
Among the signatories of the letter are the Rt Rev Bill Hewitt, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
The call could not be more poignant, coming days before Easter, a time where Christians of all traditions celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And the leaders say the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead “demonstrates that security comes from faith in the vulnerability of God in Christ and not in any human creation”.
The churches in Scotland have long campaigned against nuclear weapons, making a clear case that they have no useful purpose for humanity.