Thinking Anglicans

Sentamu to fast and pray for Middle East peace

Updated Sunday

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, is to embark on an act of ‘public witness’ to encourage people throughout the country to join him in a week long campaign of prayer and fasting for peace in the Middle East.

Read the Church of England press release:Middle East Conflict: Protest, Pray & Fast.
Read the York Minster press release: Archbishop Calls for Fast Action on Middle East.

Listen to his interview on the ‘Today’ radio programme, speaking about his initiative, via this (Real Audio) link.

Reuters Archbishop to hold vigil for Middle East

Associated Press Bush’s comments “counterproductive”

BBC Archbishop’s peace vigil in tent

Yorkshire Post Archbishop criticises Bush’s war words and Blair

Ekklesia Sentamu to launch week-long York fast against violence

From the press release:

“In the Middle East there are thousands of people sleeping in churches, bunkers, underground car parks and shelters in an attempt to escape from the bombs and rockets that are falling on both sides of the border” said the Archbishop.

“This act is a rallying call to people of all faiths and none, to encourage them to feel that there is something that can be done. The UN has a role, diplomacy has a role and our Government has a role to play in bringing this conflict to an end. But we as people also have a role to play in showing our common humanity with all those who are suffering.

“We have an opportunity to stand up and be counted with those in Israel, Lebanon and Palestine and all over the world who seek after Peace. This is what this week will be about, people coming together for one purpose alone – to pray for peace in our troubled world and to pray especially for the Middle East.

“I will be inviting people from all over the country to pause for a prayer and light a candle for peace. I will lead every day, on the hour, every hour for seven days. Just like those sleeping on the floors of bunkers, car parks and churches, I will also spend the week camped out sleeping in the Minster.

“Many thousands of people have been denied access to food and water as a result of the fighting. Why not join me in a spirit of fasting during the week by being prepared to forego a meal and donate the money to charities, like Save the Children fund, who are working in the conflict zone? At a future date we must all give generously to the reconstruction of Northern Israel, Lebanon and Palestine.”

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Murray Lamond
Murray Lamond
17 years ago

Sentamu appears to be developing a severe case of self-importance.

He is also in danger of looking like a prize boob if he dismisses the reality of Islamo-fascism. Just because one doesn’t like Bush doesn’t mean there are not apocalyptic and violent fanatics out to get us.

Cheryl Clough
17 years ago

I love Sentamu. It is religious leaders such as him who give the world a chance at redemption. Sentamu is consistently showing one trait that the wasteful shepherds lack: a recognition to call on God for grace and healing. Would that all wise souls would turn to the Lord, like Asa did “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD, you are our God; do not let man prevail against… Read more »

John Henry
John Henry
17 years ago

The ABY is right on when he criticized GW Bush’s public remarks: “The Archbishop of York said Friday that U.S. President George W. Bush’s remarks that the West is at war with ‘Islamic fascists’ are unhelpful and counterproductive.” ‘Fascists’? The GW Bush Administration’s policy engineered by the power behind the throne, VP and Bunker General Dick Cheney, an advocate of the imperial presidency and of the outsourcing of torture in violation of international conventions, is more deserving of the ‘fascist’ epithet than the Muslims living in the U.K. and in the U.S. for that matter. On the T19 Blog one… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
17 years ago

Good points John, I keep thinking of the book of Daniel with the two evil factions who make secret deals with each other but neither can be trusted. The modern day parable would be the energy consortiums controlled by Christians versus the energy controlled by Muslims. Especially when one looks at Michael Moore’s book “Farenheit 911”, or reads Noam Chomsk’s latest book “Failed States”. It starts to seem a bit surreal like we are in some kind of Star Wars movie – success of the Empire – but at what cost?

17 years ago

Sentamu’s gibes about Bush and his Texas ranch were uncalled for. Not what one expects to hear from a Christian leader and weakens the impact of the rest of his comments which appear to be reasonably sensible.

Not for the first time I wonder whether Sentamu is in the wrong job.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
17 years ago

GaryJ, A bishop makes a stance for peace, and criticises the inflammatory language used by a leader who is known to have lied to his country about the reasons for starting a war and who cynically manipulates the public’s fear and simple patriotism to justify the throwing away of the lives of soldiers who volunteer to die for their country’s defence, all so his business cronies can have more money! How is this not “what one expects to hear from a Christian leader”? This is precisely what I expect to hear from a Christian leader, actually, and restores my faith… Read more »

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