On BBC Radio 4, Dr. Rowan Williams wades into the issue of religion in Iraq, making the claim that Blair and Bush had merely a partial "Western" experience of Christianity which led to misunderstandings about the role of religion as they waged the invasion and liberation/occupation of Iraq:
Archbishop says war leaders Blair and Bush did not understand Iraq
From Ekkelsia (UK)
Dr Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the world-wide Anglican Communion, which claims 77 million members, has suggested that a partial 'Western' experience of Christianity meant that the Prime Minister, Tony Blair and President George Bush had little apparent understanding of Iraq and its indigenous religious traditions when they launched the 2003 war.
His comments came in the context of a BBC Radio 4 documentary about the perilous situation of Christians and other minorities in post-war Iraq, hosted by veteran journalist Ed Stourton on Tuesday 6 April 2010.
Stourton asked the Archbishop about the two politicians who took the West to war in Iraq and oversaw an occupation which has led to violent division and confrontation in the midst of subsequent attempts to transition to a fragile democracy.
Tony Blair and George Bush were "the most enthusiastically Christian leaders we have had for many years," he pointed out - and critics say that they ignored widespread Christian opposition to their war and abused Christian language to justify it.
"The Christianity both of them were shaped by is, on the whole, a very, very Western thing," Dr Williams said. "I don't sense that either of them had very much sense of the indigenous Christian life and history that there is in the region."
Iraq's Christians blame Western ignorance for a good number of their problems today. Louis Sako, the Chaldean Archbishop of the Northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, was highly critical of Western evangelical missionaries who came "piling into Iraq" in the immediate aftermath of the American invasion.