African and Asian bishops urge Scots to make Poverty History

 African and Asian bishops are making a special visit to Scotland to urge Scots to act to make poverty history. Leading Scottish aid agency, SCIAF, is urging everyone who is passionate about justice to take the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts about poverty in the developing world from Cardinal Toppo from India and Archbishops Souraphiel (Ethiopia), Onaiyekan (Nigeria) and Mazombwe (Zambia). A special Make Poverty History mass, led by Cardinal O'Brien will welcome the Bishops to Scotland on Friday 27 May at 6pm in Edinburgh's St Patrick Church. On Saturday 28 May, Archbishop Conti will chair an open meeting with the Bishops in Eyre Hall, Glasgow Archdiocesan Offices, Glasgow at 10.30am. The events are part of a busy schedule which involves the Bishops meeting key political leaders across Europe in the run up to the summit of the G8 (the eight most powerful countries in the world) at Gleneagles in July. Whilst in the UK, the Bishops will meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer and urge the Government to act to honour their commitment to halve poverty by 2015 and also to make trade fair; cancel debt and increase aid. Matthew Marr, SCIAF Campaigns Officer, said: "We're delighted to welcome the Bishops to Scotland. It will be an opportunity to hear about the terrible conditions that some people are forced to live in but also what we can do to help make poverty history. "Over 840 million people go to bed hungry every night and 30,000 children die every day from preventable causes. We hope all Scots who are appalled by these statistics will be able to attend either the Mass or the public meeting, to illustrate their commitment to justice and to extend a warm welcome to the Bishops. "If anyone can't make it though, they should join us in Edinburgh on 2 July for the Make Poverty History rally and send a clear message to world leaders that they must take action now." At both events, there will be the opportunity to chat with the Bishops and ask them questions about the reality of poverty in the developing world. For more information on either of these events and/or to book a seat at the talk in the Eyre Hall please contact SCIAF on 0141 354 5555 or email

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