Archbishop of Canterbury condemns Isis persecution of Christians

The archbishop of Canterbury has condemned the « extreme religious ideology » behind the persecution of Christians and others in the Middle East. He also condemned the murder of American journalist Steven Sotloff and called for the perpetrators of violence in the region to be held to account. Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby was speaking at Lambeth Palace after a meeting with 20 leaders and representatives of Middle East churches before joining other faith leaders for a prayer vigil outside Westminster Abbey to show solidarity with the people of Iraq.

Welby admitted it took the west some time to realise how serious the situation was.

« It took the barbarism of jihadist militants to wake us up, » he said. « This is a new thing. There has not been treatment of Christians in this region, in this manner, since the invasion of Genghis Khan. This a new phenomenon and I think we find it hard to believe such horrors can happen. »

He warned that minority faiths were being « wiped out » in areas controlled by Islamic State. He said: « We are seeing an extreme religious ideology that knows no limits in its persecution of those who are culturally or religiously different. Those who promote this intolerance must be challenged and the perpetrators of violence held to account without impunity.

« The suffering of those who bear the brunt of its terror requires us to act and bear witness to their plight, whatever ethnic group or religious minority they come from. We must provide relief and safety for those displaced and in fear of their lives, in consultation with our partners in the region. We must also bring pressure to bear on those who can provide security to those affected. »

The Middle East was the birthplace of Christianity, and is in danger of losing an irreplaceable part of its identity, heritage, and culture, he warned.


The Guardian


F. Achouri

Sociologue spécialiste de l’islam contemporain.

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