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A Christmas message to British troops in Afghanistan

Thursday 26th December 2013

The Archbishop used a special Christmas message to British troops to assure them that in Britain 'we pray for you every day' and give thanks for what has been accomplished in Afghanistan 'through your sacrifice and efforts over the years'

In the message, broadcast by the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) at Camp Bastion on Christmas Day, the Archbishop said he was "very conscious of the fact that you are a long way away in circumstances that few of us in this country can imagine.

"You're separated at this time from families and friends, but you know that their love and their concern for you is there every moment of the day, and reaches across the thousands of miles that are between us."

He added: "You may not also know, but I want to assure you, that we pray for you every day. There is scarcely half a day that goes by when what you are doing and the importance of what you're doing is not on our minds here. We pray for your safety, but we also pray for the effectiveness of your mission."

The Archbishop said people in Britain give thanks for the changes in Afghanistan that the "sacrifice and effort" of British troops have helped bring about over recent years, "and the hope this gives for the future." 

He continued: "Jesus came to a country that was in the middle of civil war and struggle, in great danger, with people who were suffering enormously.

"You are so aware of what that means. But that's where God came to be - not in safety and riches. And so it is to the God who understands that we pray."

Closing his message, Archbishop Justin said: "May God bless you, and may you have a good Christmas, a good new year, and a happy return to those who love you."

Listen to the message here: 


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