Japanese Prelates Warn About Threat to Peace

Say Growing Inequality Breeds Violence

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TOKYO, DEC. 16, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Japanese bishops are suggesting that people who do not take into account the marginalized align themselves with those who consider the violation of human rights as an inevitable situation.



The prelates said this in a statement marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which L'Osservatore Romano reported today.

"Economic misery is a threat for world peace, and a rigid application of the rules of the market, without moral guidelines, is one of the principal causes of the humiliation of human dignity," the Asian bishops wrote. To ensure peace in the world it is urgent "to guarantee to everyone, and much more in the current climate of uncertainty due to the world economic crisis, the application of human rights, liberating people from misery."

The prelates recognized the "long and important road" traveled after two world wars, and the effort of persons and organizations to proclaim and protect human rights.

Nevertheless, they affirmed, "it is a fact that the unequal distribution of riches, and consequently, the unequal distribution of benefits, has amplified the differences between rich and poor countries."

The Japanese bishops contended that an inhumane logic is used in the market, which has "produced grave damages such as the deterioration of the environment and climate change" as well as the increase in food and fuel prices.

This is a consequence, they said of "the laws of the market without a soul that have made the life conditions of a multitude of poor people around the world even more miserable, endangering the fundamental right to life."

"If individuals, businesses and nations continue seeking their own interests, human dignity will be trampled upon and the world will be ever more violent and distorted," while victims "become easy prey to the temptation to violence," they cautioned.

"There is no time to lose," the Japanese bishops wrote. "If we do not make our own the points of view of the marginalized, we ourselves, even without malicious intentions, end up putting ourselves on the side of those who say that a certain degree of human rights violations is inevitable."