The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said plans to clear mines from a traditional site of the Baptism of Christ will bring “a symbol of hope to a region that struggles with deeply-held divisions”.
The British mine clearance organisation The HALOTrust has been granted approval by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities, and eight Christian denominations, to begin mine clearance at the site on the West Bank.
Responding to the news, Archbishop Justin said: “It is a source of much pain that a traditional site of the Baptism of Christ is now a site scarred by the debris of war. In making the land safe again, The HALO Trust is bringing a symbol of hope to a region that struggles with deeply-held divisions.
“At the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of reconciliation, so it is an inspiration to see HALO’s work helping communities to overcome these divisions. Everybody wants to see this land returned to use by the local Churches as a place of peaceful prayer and worship: HALO is reaching across the divide to make this vision a reality.”