Archbishop warns of vanishing Christian communities
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams warned Tuesday that Christian communities in the Middle East were in danger of vanishing, as he launched an appeal for funds to help.
"The overall decline in the Christian population in the Holy Land has been very significant in recent decades and it is accelerating in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem very rapidly," he said.
"The number of Christians in Israel itself remains steady, but we still face the not too distant prospect elsewhere, especially in East Jerusalem, of the disappearance of most of the historic Christian communities.
"Communities that have been there, in some cases, since the days of our Lord."
Williams, the head of the worldwide Anglican church, was launching an appeal for funds for Christian community projects at a meeting of the General Synod in York, northern England.
"I returned from a visit to the Holy Land last year with a very, very strong sense that we had to do more to express our solidarity with the Christian communities there," he said.
His call was supported by Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, the most senior Catholic in England and Wales.
"People are leaving, Christians are leaving, and we want to say that the Christian presence in the Holy Land is important to its balance... not just its historical reality, but to its present and future viability," Nichols said.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned in January that Christian minorities in the Middle East were victims of "religious cleansing", following deadly attacks on churches in the region.
About headlines and content that gets changed after it was added to this site - see disclaimer here
FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in ourefforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.