Ottawa (June 5) -- Anglican Bishop Dinis Sengulane of the Diocese of Lebombo in Mozambique has urged Canadians to denounce gun ownership and the shipment of arms to war-torn countries.
Speaking to the 400 members of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada in Ottawa, Bishop Sengulane said individuals and countries involved in arms production should take responsibility for the long-term effects of their actions.
"More than one million people have been killed in Mozambique over the last 10 years by weapons produced elsewhere in the world," he said. "I would like these people who produce guns to come to the grave sites of our dead. I would like them to visit our orphans. Maybe then they would realize the impact that their products have on others."
Bishop Sengulane who served as president of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of the Christian Council of Mozambique, is internationally-known for his role in bringing about a negotiated cease-fire in Mozambique. In 1992 he received the First Peace Prize of the All Africa Conference of Churches and the following year he was awarded an international peace prize from the Diakonia of Sweden.
Bishop Sengulane called on Canadians to set an example by refusing to own guns for purposes other than hunting. "Once you own a gun it sends a message that killing is acceptable," he said.
He also urged Canadians not to purchase toy guns or other weapons for their children. "Education starts within the family," he said. "We have to teach children, here in Canada and around the world, to use their skills and imagination in a way that will be productive, not destructive to humanity".
Bishop Sengulane is a guest at the General Synod of the Anglican Church, meeting June 1 to 9 in Ottawa. He preached at a Sunday service at Christ Church Cathedral.
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Contact Sam Carriere or Lorie Chortyk, Media Relations, General Synod. News Room: (613) 788-2600 ext. 2040 Cellular 613-720-1468