Church leaders write to UK prime minister to look to weak and vulnerable

(Photo: REUTERS / Ben Gurr / Pool)speaks to students at a reception being held at Downing Street, as part of the government's ongoing programme marking the centenary of World War One, in London July 1, 2014.

Leaders from four churches in Britain have signed an open letter to Prime MinisterDavid Cameron supporting a wholesome society concerned for the weakest and most vulnerable.

Congratulating Cameron on his election win they encouraged him to hold "truth, justice, peace and wellbeing" at the heart of the government, but also say they support dismantling Britain's nuclear weapons' program.

"Christians and other religious minorities are facing persecution, and we ask that your government makes freedom of religion or belief a human rights priority in all aspects of foreign policy," the church leaders also said.

With a focus on "loving our neighbour," the letter reminds the Prime Minister, a wholesome society should be concerned for the weakest and most vulnerable, both locally and globally.

Signed by leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church, the letter highlights several key concerns the churches believe should be high on the agenda of the new government.

In the May 7 election, political parties contested 650 parliamentary seats. Cameron's Conservative Party was victorious with 331 representatives, gaining a majority and improving on its standing before the poll.

At the same time in Scotland the Scottish National Party which supports the most northern country in the United Kingdom being independent swept to victory in 56 of 59 parliamentary seats.

The church leader said they are committed to a world free of nuclear weapons.

"We hope that you will support the international call to make the use of nuclear weapons illegitimate under international law and consider a deferral of a decision on Trident in 2016 to enable the UK to play a full part in new multilateral disarmament initiatives," they said.

The UK Trident programme encompasses the development, procurement and operation of the country's nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them.

The Scottish National Party opposes the nuclear weapons' system, but the two biggest parties in the UK Parliament, the Conservatives and the Labour Party support it.

The church leaders said, "Our experience and research has led us to be deeply concerned about the damage caused, particularly to vulnerable people, through the benefits sanctions system and we ask your government to undertake a full review."

The number of people relying on food banks is expected to pass the one million mark, The Independent newspaper reported May 19.

It cited figures from the Trussell Trust, the biggest provider of emergency food aid with more than 400 food banks in the UK.

"The statistics could puncture the Conservatives' optimism on the economy after official figures yesterday showed there are two million more people in work than in 2010, and 557,000 more than a year ago," commented The Independent.

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