December 9, 2009

Interfaith voices call for nuclear disarmament


by David Masters

Representatives from four of the world’s major religions together joined together this week in calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Christian representatives called on their respective religions to take moral leadership on the issue of nuclear missiles and warheads.

People of faith can play a vital role in lobbying governments to disarm nuclear weapons, the representatives said at a Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia.

“All religions share a common wish for peace and reject nuclear weapons,” said Ibrahim Ramey, Muslim representative and director of human and civil rights at the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation.

“Morally, nuclear weapons do not have any role or reason to exist in our world,” Ramey added.

Kimiaki Kawai, programme director of peace affairs at global Buddhist network Soka Gakkai International, said grassroots campaigners, including religious groups, have a responsibility to create a groundswell of public opinion in opposition to nuclear weapons.

Other speakers at the event included Jewish representative Paul Morris, professor of religious studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and Christian representative Rev Dr. Wes Campbell, Uniting Church chaplain at the University of Melbourne.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions takes place every five years in a different location.

It is the world’s biggest interfaith gathering, with over 8,000 delegates attending, all attempting to build bridges on a range of global issues.

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