PRESS RELEASE  

Religious Leaders of Scotland meet tomorrow (9 June) at 10.15 am at Renfield St. Stephen's Church Centre, (Blythswood Hall), 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP to issue a statement on the eradication of poverty.  

You are invited to send a photographers/camera crew.  



Statement of the Religious Leaders on Make Poverty History and the G8  

We, the leaders and representatives of Scotland s diverse faith communities wish to wholeheartedly support the Make Poverty History Campaign in its efforts to eradicate the scandal of global poverty. We stand together, united in the belief in the dignity of all human beings. The scar of poverty is one of the greatest violations of human dignity and we unite to call for its eradication.  

2005 presents a unique opportunity to tackle poverty on an international scale. This year Scotland hosts the G8 summit, a gathering of the leaders of the world s richest and most powerful nations. We cannot stand idly by while our brothers and sisters in the developing world suffer a lack of the most basic necessities of food, access to clean water and sanitation and adequate shelter. We are all diminished by such suffering and inequality. That is why we are supporting the Make Poverty History campaign.  

We challenge the world leaders gathered here for the G8 summit to:  

· Drop the debt for the world s poorest countries  
· Increase aid to developing nations  
· Create a system of fair and just trade rules  

In all our religious traditions, care for the poor, the vulnerable and the oppressed are central to how we are called to live our lives in accordance with our faith.  

Each one of us commits to encouraging and supporting our own faith communities to give their support, their time and energy to the Make Poverty History Campaign. We urge all Scotland s people “ of all faiths and none “ to support the campaign to make 2005 the year we make poverty history. We urge all of those participating to show their commitment to this cause through responsible and peaceful ways.  
Concern for the poor is to be found in the holy writings and traditions of all our faiths.  

You shall not abuse any widow or orphan ¦ If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you ¦ you shall not exact interest from them.  
- Torah - Hebrew Scriptures  

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.  
- Torah - Hebrew Scriptures  

"Whoever saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind."  
- Qu ran - Muslim Scriptures  

They who give have all things; they who withhold have nothing.  

- Hindu Proverb  



Those who remember God generously help others.  
- P. 263 Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book  

Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.  
- Christian Bible  

An offering given from what little one has is worth a thousand times its value."  
- Buddha  
In support of the statement religious leaders of Scotland said:  

Rabbi David Rose, Rabbi of Edinburgh: As human beings created in the image  
of G-d we all are responsible for each other. By different faiths and nations working together we can hope to eliminate the scourge of global poverty and thus fix our broken world ;  


Venerable K-rewatha - Scotland s Buddhist Vihara: It is unfortunate that even in the 21 century we have a divided world and to equalise this, those of us who are blessed with more resources, have a duty to should support those in need. We have to strive for equality amongst people of the world ;  

and  

Imam Mustaueem Shah, UK Islamic Mission Glasgow: We live in a slave and master culture because of interest. By surrendering to one Master (God), we shall have dignity, equality and contentment amongst his creations .  

The statement has been endorsed by the following religious leaders of Scotland:  

Cardinal Keith O Brien;  
Rt Rev David Lacy  
Most Rev Bruce Cameron;  
Rabbi Rose;  
Rabbi Rubin;  
Imam Shah;  
Venerable K-rewatha;  
Zorawar Singh  



Notes to the Editor:  

Contact: Pramila Kaur, Chief Executive, Scottish Inter Faith Council, 0141 429 4012 or 07778 241 540.  

1. Make Poverty History is a coalition of nearly 500 NGOs and charities campaigning to drop the debt, make trade fair and produce more and better aid.  

2. The G7 Finance Ministers meeting in London, tomorrow is the best chance for the G7 to agree a package which will wipe out the debts of the world's poorest countries.  

ENDS  

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org  














Copyright © 2002 The Scottish Catholic Media Office. All rights reserved.  

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