London arms fair draws criticism from British Christian groups

(Photo: courtesy Christians Against the Arms Fair)Protest by the clergy against the London arms fair.

One of the world’s largest arms shows in mid-September in London will bring together over 1,600 companies that develop, manufacture and sell weapons of war, but it has drawn criticism from British Catholic bishops, as well than other Christian and militant groups.

The organizers of the arms sales exhibition, Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI), say it is a biennial defense and security trade exhibition that serves as a forum between governments, forces armies, industry and academics, held at ExCeL London this year from 14-17 Sept.

The fair comes days after the commemoration of 911, when people remember the terrorist attacks planned from Afghanistan against targets in the northeastern United States and the wars it unleashed across a vast region of the Middle -East, including Iraq.

“As Washington wrangles over what, if anything, has been achieved after 20 years and nearly $ 5 billion spent on ‘Eternal Wars’, there is a clear winner: the US defense industry.” , The Guardian newspaper commented on September 11 this year.

Thus, the Catholic Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland, as well as faith-based organizations and Justice and Peace, have expressed their opposition to the arms trade, echoing Pope Francis’ call to end the lucrative but murderous trade that fuels suffering. and forced migration, reports Vatican News.

“We recognize the right of every country to defend itself against attacks, but we must never ignore, or allow ourselves to become complicit in, the destruction of human life and violations of human dignity made possible by the sale of weapons. “said the Seventh 7 joint statement.

“The conflicts fueled by this trade harm the poorest communities, force people to flee their homes as refugees and have devastating consequences for our environment,” he said.


About 30,000 delegates will attend the event, which will showcase weapons ranging from tanks to sniper rifles and provide an opportunity to discuss possible sales of combat aircraft and warships.

The group opposed to the rally said such events as the First Tone will take place in London’s Docklands are part of a trade that Pope Francis said was “drenched in blood,” UCA Catholic News reported.

The declaration was signed by Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton, chairman of the Department of International Affairs of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales; Bishop William Nolan of Galloway, Scotland, President of Justice and Peace in Scotland and other members of the clergy.

It was also signed by representatives of Catholic peace groups, Pax Christi England and Wales and Pax Christi Scotland; the Catholic overseas development agencies CAFOD and the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund; and by the leader of the National Justice and Peace Network.

The National Justice and Peace Network said its September newsletter tops the current crisis in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of peacekeeping troops by the United States.

“As the UK prepares to welcome refugees fleeing persecution, the mayor[de Londres]Sadiq Khan condemns the immorality of holding an arms fair in London Docklands in September, “the network said.[London}MayorSadiqKhancondemnstheimmoralityofhostinganArmsFairintheLondonDocklandsthisSeptember”saidthenetwork[London}MayorSadiqKhancondemnstheimmoralityofhostinganArmsFairintheLondonDocklandsthisSeptember”saidthenetwork

“We are at the side of all those people of good will who campaign peacefully against the arms trade and we join in prayer with the Holy Father for our leaders to commit to ending it, in search of peace. and the protection of our entire human family, ”their statement said. said.

The Christians Against the Arms Fair group states on its Facebook page: “The arms trade is a sinful trade that fuels war, perpetuates poverty and undermines human rights.

Protests by Christian groups at the arms fair will not stop it but may make people think about whom they entrust spending their taxes on the war to and how they spent that money and also whether there is an alternative to the budget. massive weaponry.

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