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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.''

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''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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