Statement on Burma

Oct 18, 2007 | Statement

European Council of Religious Leaders (ECRL) Statement on Burma

The Executive Committee of the European Council of Religious Leaders, meeting in Oslo, Norway on October 18th 2007, expresses our condemnation of the way the military government in Burma has responded to a peaceful protest.

The situation in Burma calls for continued attention by the world community and by all religious communities. We call for the release of those arrested as a result of the recent uprising. We appeal to the Government to begin dialogue with the Democracy movement, religious communities, ethnic groups and with Aung San Suu Kyi. We urge that humanitarian assistance be given through The Red Cross and the Red Crescent to those who have been jailed after the recent uprising and those who have been in prison for many years for no other reason than that they have stood up for democracy, human rights and rule of law.

We must not forget the suffering of the people, those killed, and those in prison. We must not forget the non- violent and spiritual struggle of Buddhist Monks and others who have been moved by their faith to risk their lives for a future of peace, reconciliation and justice.

We welcome the actions taken by the World Conference of Religions for Peace, to mobilize people of all faiths world-wide, other religious bodies and individual religious leaders to use their influence for a peaceful solution of the conflict. We are moved by the popular support for the people of Burma in so many countries of the world.

We appeal to all religious institutions, ecumenical and interfaith organizations, especially The World Federation of Buddhists, the Vatican, the World Council of Churches, The Conference of European Churches and similar structures for Muslims, Jews and other faith communities in Europe, to support all those engaged in the struggle for negotiated change.

The United Nations, ASEAN and the European Union have a heavy responsibility to come out effectively on the side of the oppressed people ofBurma.  Countries which are in close relationship with Burma should use their influence with the Government of Burma to begin the long process towards healing and the enablement of people to freely choose their future.

As religious leaders we pray for the people of Burma that they may not loose hope. And we pray for the Government that they may change their ways and turn their hearts and minds to the needs of the longsuffering people.