35 world religious leaders ask arms race turnabout

A group of 35 international religious leaders called for a freeze and reversal of the arms race as a first step toward worldwide disarmament.

Their appeal, titled ''Choose Life,'' was issued in connection with a United Nations special disarmament session in mid-May. It urged ''a comprehensive program for disarmament with specific time frames leading to the abolition of nuclear weapons and general and complete disarmament.''

''Even if these fearsome weapons are not actually used, they attack the poor through an unchecked arms race that consumes the very resources -- $500 billion annually -- which should feed, clothe, house, and heal the world's people,'' the statement said.

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