Anglican Leader Visits Holy Land Christians

Archbishop Williams Plans Support for Churches

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JERUSALEM, FEB. 25, 2010 ( The leader of the Anglican Communion has joined his voice to the chorus of those defending Christian presence in the Holy Land and urging peace so that Christian emigration will stop.

On a four-day tour of the Middle East, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury met with the Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Latin patriarchs, and with leaders of the Jewish community.

In each meeting, there was affirmation of the need to do everything possible to support the Christian churches in the Holy Land, serving not only their own best interests but also those of all the Middle East peoples.

Dialogue with Jews

In meeting with members of the Grand Rabbinate, the religious leaders noted progress in Jewish-Anglican dialogue.

In the most recent meeting of that council, the value and significance of Jerusalem in the Jewish and Christian tradition were discussed.
The archbishop of Canterbury expressed his hope that this spirit of understanding and mutual respect might be profitable in the dialogue between the communities belonging to different faiths and lead to a peaceful solution of the conflicts in Jerusalem and in the whole of the Holy Land.
Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, co-president of the Anglican-Jewish Commission, also pointed to progress in interreligious dialogue, noting it has lead to open discussion on points of agreement and points still under debate.

Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Archbishop Williams noted the theme of the next commission meeting in London, the fifth of the series: The shared understanding of creation not only as a gift of the Creator to humanity, but also as a commitment for man to preserve it, observing the laws of natural harmony and respect for God. Sacred Scriptures will be examined in the aspects that relate to the conservation of the environment.
The Anglican delegation meeting with members of the Grand Rabbinate also discussed the daily life and needs of the Christian communities that live in Jerusalem and the search for new ways to enhance mutual understanding between the faithful of different creeds.

The meeting in the headquarters of the Grand Rabbinate ended with a statement of mutual commitment to continue and deepen the dialogue between the two sides through periodic meetings of the Anglican-Jewish Commission.

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