Comments: Archbishop and persecution claims

"Dr Rowan Williams called on those who live in 'comfortable environments' to keep their fears 'in perspective' and not become obsessed by the 'future of Church and society'. He reminded them that Christians in countries such as Nigeria, Iraq, Egypt and Zimbabwe are facing 'butchery and intimidation', and are in desperate need of support."
- Martin Beckford, Telegraph article -

Thank God people like Martin Beckford and Riazat Butt are publicly chastising the former Archbishop of Canterbury and his fellow bishops (some of them ex-bishops) of the Church of England who had the gall and temerity to accuse the British government of the 'intimidation of Christians' in the U.K.

Thankfully, they give the credit to the present Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, for their inspiration in this instance. This should show Anglicans around the world that Archbishop Rowan is not afraid to challenge his predecessor, and others of the elite re-asserters of the Church of England, that they are talking a lot of rot. Perhaps these signatories to the complaint need to divest themselves of some of their comforts.

The ABC had need to quell the rhetoric of Lord Carey and the other conservative lordly bishops, who were taking an opportunity to assert their illiberal opinions about what the British government is actively doing in the social sphere to allay the effects of their homophobia.

Perhaps now the Church of England will be able to
fulfil it's true reformation character by moving forward in Faith Hope and Love towards the ethic of freedom in Christ that we will be celebrating in our Churches of the Communion this Eastertide.

The fear-mongers of the Church need to repent of their craven cowardice, and move into resurrection mode - ready to acknowledge the freedom of Christ - not to persecute, but to help in the task of redemption in the Gospel. "By their fruits, ye shall know them" : "They will know you're my disciples by your love." : "Perfect Love casts out fear!" - the words of Jesus to his disciples.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 31 March 2010 at 10:43pm BST

I wonder if the ABC has the same concern for those who are persecuted by those who call themselves Christians in places like Nigeria.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 12:05am BST

It's time to pack up Carey and his buddies and send them to Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Sudan, or any number of other such countries and let them see what religious persecution is all about.

It is obscene for some of the most privileged people on earth to claim persecution when millions of devout, faithful people are enduring the real thing.

Posted by JPM at Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 3:32pm BST

In 1838, one of the Tolpuddle Martyrs wrote:

As far back, sir, as recollection can carry me I have heard it exclaimed that “the church is in danger!” and from that period to the present time, bishops … clergyman … and high church pamphleteers, have continually reiterated the cry “The church is in danger!” I wonder not, sir, at the low repute in which the church is held. What intelligent person commencing his religious inquiries, would think of joining a church that, according to the testimony of its own bishops and clergy, is in perpetual danger? What sensible person who finds himself by birth and education a churchman would not, for the sake of his peace of mind, come out from a church which is always in danger? Is it not a marvellous thing that a church supported by all the power of the state, and all the wealth of a mighty nation, should always be in danger? What avails the immense revenues, the mitred thrones and Episcopal palaces, the bench of bishops in the House of Lords, the acts of Parliament, and all the buttresses and bulwarks, if, nevertheless, “the church is in danger”?

The Church may not be as rich as it was, and individual christians may feel they are being treated unfairly, but on the whole not much as changed in the past 172 years.

Posted by Terence Dear at Thursday, 1 April 2010 at 4:27pm BST

Those who routinely take potshots at the Archbishop of Canterbury, even if he says something positive and welcoming such as this, should examine whether they are adding to the fuel of the fire of that persecution.

Posted by Ren Aguila at Friday, 2 April 2010 at 12:57am BST
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