World church leaders pursue anti-nuclear weapons plans in Scotland

By agency reporter
18 Nov 2011

World church leaders have met in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, to discuss plans to rid the world of nuclear weapons and to hold discussions with civic and political leaders.

The nuclear weapons seminar has been taking place this week and on 16 November 2011, the leaders met with Bruce Crawford MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy to find out about the context of the nuclear debate in Scotland and the impact of the independence debate.

The World Council of Churches group have also held talks with the Cross Party Group for Nuclear Disarmament in the Scottish Parliament.

The group also shared ideas about campaigns and church action with former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr Alan McDonald and the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

Scotland was chosen by the World Council of Churches to host the meeting as Faslane is home to the UK’s nuclear weapons arsenal despite opposition from churches and the Scottish Parliament.

The Rev Ian Galloway, Convener of the Kirk’s Church and Society Council, said Scotland was honoured and privileged to have been able to host such a high-level meeting of some of the world’s most prominent leading Christian thinkers on nuclear disarmament and peace.

Mr Galloway added: “It is a fantastic recognition by our brothers and sisters in other countries and other denominations of the work we in Scotland have been doing. We need to continue to press the case that nuclear weapons are inherently evil and that Britain must not replace Trident.”

Bruce Crawford, Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy, said the Scottish Government remained firmly opposed to the possession, threat and use of nuclear weapons.

Mr Crawford said: “An independent Scotland would not have such weapons of mass destruction based in its waters. Until then, the Scottish Government is committed to building Scotland’s role in international peace building and I welcomed the opportunity to meet with the World Council of Churches and to work with others to take this important agenda forward, with and for the people of Scotland.

“We must work together to maximise the opportunities for engaging with international partners on matters of peace, conflict resolution and nuclear disarmament.”

[Ekk/3]

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