Prince of Wales to UK Christians: “Do not take your rights of freedom of worship and freedom of expression for granted”

Dec 21, 2017 by

by Archbishop Cranmer:

The Prince of Wales has visited London’s Melkite Greek Catholic parish, based at St Barnabas Church in Pimlico. Coptic Orthodox Bishop Angaelos was in attendance, along with Syriac Archbishop Athanasius Father Aphrem, Fr Shafiq Abouzayd and Canon Robin Gibbons. Prince Charles spoke of his own faith, his despair at the appalling plight of Christians in the Middle East, and his hope during this season of Advent:

It does seem to me that in our troubled times, when so many Christians in the Middle East face such desperate trials, there is at least some potential comfort to be found in remembering our connections to the earliest days of the Church. Indeed, as all of you know only too well, the Christmas story itself ends with the Holy Family fleeing for refuge from persecution; just as in 2017 large numbers of Christians, such as the families that I had the particular pleasure of meeting before this service, are being forced to leave their homes in the face of the most brutal persecution on account of their faith. Such barbaric persecution is even more perverse and dreadful when as many Christians seem unaware. The true spirit of reverence, which Muslims display towards Jesus and his mother Mary springs from the fountain head of their faith as described in the Koran.

As someone who, throughout my life, has tried, in whatever small way I can, to foster understanding between people of faith, and to build bridges between the great religions of the world, it is heartbreaking beyond words to see just how much pain and suffering is being endured by Christians, in this day and age, simply because of their faith. As Christians we remember, of course, how Our Lord called upon us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute. But for those confronted with such hatred and oppression, I can only begin to imagine how incredibly hard it must be to follow Christ’s example.

And then came this nugget of theo-political awareness:

Read here


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