November 14, 2011
Cardinal Odilio Pedro Scherer

Cardinal Odilio Pedro Scherer

Nineteen parishes in Sao Paulo, Brazil, opened their doors to collect guns and ammunition as part of a city-wide campaign that collected 271 firearms and 173 rounds of ammunition.

The weapons were collected during a nine-day Religions United for Disarmament campaign in late October.

The campaign promoted by the I Am for Peace Institute was organized with the cooperation of a variety of religious houses of worship, including Buddhist temples, Jewish synagogues and evangelical churches in an attempt to reduce the number of firearms on the streets.

Each worship site accepted the weapons for two or three days. People turned in the weapons anonymously, with no questions asked.

In connection with the campaign, Cardinal Odilio Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo called for tighter laws controlling the development of toys that push children toward violence.

"We have seen the tragic use of firearms in our schools. This is certainly an imitation of adult attitudes," he said.

Scherer also suggested that stronger action is needed to control the illegal entry of firearms into Brazil and to limit firearm use so that weapons do not end up in the hands of criminals.

"Arms trafficking is one of the most profitable illegal activities in the world today," he said in a statement.