The arms trade as idolatry - book launch

 Pax Christi launch a new publication today (Monday) entitled 'A matter of life and death: Biblical reflections on the arms trade', by Chris Cole. At the launch at 6.30pm in Vaughn House, Westminster, there will be two speakers who have lived and worked in war zones: Luciano Conceicao, a student from East Timor, and Mark Harrington, who has worked with the Jesuit Refugee Services in East Africa. Chris Cole has been researching, campaigning and writing about the arms trade for many years. He is a founder of the BAe Campaign and a long-standing member of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade. He has been imprisoned twice for undertaking non-violent action against arms exports and he continues to be under an injunction imposed by British Aerospace. The booklet gives a background to the British arms trade. It looks at the arms trade as a form of idolatry and explores ideas for confronting the arms trade on a theological and practical level. Author and journalist Bernadette Meaden said: "Nobody who reads this could be left in any doubt that opposing the arms trade is not an optional extra, but an essential intrinsic part of being a Christian." Pat Gaffney from Pax Christi reported that a vigil and prayerful protest was being planned for yesterday (Sunday 18 June) outside the Clapham office of an arms broker who has been supplying weapons to the conflict in Eritrea and Ethiopia. She said: "Naming and exposing the British connection to the arms trade is an essential part of our Christian response to the arms trade." If you would like more information about this new publication or the work of Pax Christi in general, telephone their office at the Peace Education Centre in Hendon, on: 020 8203 4884.

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