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Archbishop of Canterbury speaks out on Gaza, UN Anti-trafficking Day

Archbishop of Canterbury speaks out on Gaza, UN Anti-trafficking Day

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has issued statements on the war in Gaza and on the UN Anti-Trafficking Day:

Gaza (excerpt):

“My utmost admiration is for all those involved in the humanitarian efforts on the ground, not least the medical team and staff at Al Ahli Arab Hospital. Providing relief and shelter for those displaced is a tangible expression of our care and concern, and I encourage Church of England parishes and dioceses, as well as the wider Communion, to pray for them and support the Diocese of Jerusalem’s emergency appeal.

“While humanitarian relief for those civilians most affected is a priority, especially women and children, we must also recognise that this conflict underlines the importance of renewing a commitment to political dialogue in the wider search for peace and security for both Israeli and Palestinian. The destructive cycle of violence has caused untold suffering and threatens the security of all.

“For all sides to persist with their current strategy, be it threatening security by the indiscriminate firing of rockets at civilian areas or aerial bombing which increasingly fails to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, is self-defeating. The bombing of civilian areas, and their use to shelter rocket launches, are both breaches of age old customs for the conduct of war. Further political impasse, acts of terror, economic blockades or sanctions and clashes over land and settlements, all increase the alienation of those affected. Populations condemned to hopelessness or living under fear will be violent. Such actions create more conflict, more deaths and will in the end lead to an even greater disaster than the one being faced today. The road to reconciliation is hard, but ultimately the only route to security. It is the responsibility of all leaders to protect the innocent, not only in the conduct of war but in setting the circumstances for a just and sustainable peace

UN Day of Anti-Trafficking (excerpt):

“It beggars belief to think that, 200 years after William Wilberforce’s success in abolishing the transatlantic slave trade, the trade in human beings continues at such a pace that we need a UN World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

“I am very pleased that the United Kingdom Government is bringing forward legislation to combat a shameful and shadowy practice that deprives people of their freedom and their God-given dignity. I hope MPs and Peers will take this opportunity to agree to a series of robust measures, not least in the area of business supply chains, that set the standard for the rest of the world.

“I encourage churches to be at the forefront of this new abolitionist movement, by taking steps to raise awareness now and by coming together with others around the world on 19 October, Freedom Sunday, in a day of worship, prayer and action on human trafficking.”

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Chris H.

Paul, It sounds like the Archbishop was responding to a letter from Jerusalem and the official UN anti-trafficking Day. Did I miss the PB's letter condemning the Iraqi nightmare or did she not bother either? Actually, Iraq isn't mentioned on the Episcopal Relief site either. If you want to give to the aid of the Iraqi Christians, you have to do it elsewhere, like Samaritan's Purse or Catholic Relief sites or Red Crescent.

Chris Harwood

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Rod Gillis

While not always in agreement with the good Archbishop's perspectives, I appreciate his comments on Gaza. I am especially appreciative as a Canadian, given our Harper Government's cheer-leading for the war and its appalling rhetorical undermining of efforts by the U.N. and others in trying to arrange a ceasefire. Good to know there are responsible and compassionate voices trying to reduce the temperature even while Canada is turning up the heat at the expense of innocent civilians.

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Paul Woodrum

All very nice of the Archbishop of Canterbury to be so concerned about Jews and Muslims but has he said anything about the persecution and slaughter of Christians by Muslims in Iraq, especially by ISIS? His sense of moral equivalency is damnable at best.

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