Archbishop of Canterbury on Christians in the Middle East - video
Wednesday 3rd September 2014The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has spoken of "a state of emergency" in the Middle East for Christians and other minorities.
After meeting and praying with leaders and representatives of Middle East churches at Lambeth Palace this morning, the Archbishop said there have been "gross violations" of "fundamental rights and freedoms" in the region.
Flanked by the other church leaders, the Archbishop said in a statement to the media: "We gather today as Christians, including those originally from the Middle East, to stand in solidarity and prayer with our brothers and sisters, who seek to practice their faith and belief in lands where they have been a continuing presence since the beginning of Christianity."
Calling for justice "without impunity", the Archbishop said the suffering of those bearing the brunt of ongoing terror "requires us to act and bear witness to their plight, whatever ethnic group or religious minority they come from."
Later this morning the Archbishop joined other faith leaders at a joint peace vigil for Iraq outside Westminster Abbey.