Archbishop Williams 'concerned' over violence against Christians

Published 11 October 2010  |  
The head of the Anglican Communion worldwide has expressed concern over the increase in violence against Christian minorities in the country.

On his visit to Kolkatta on Saturday, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said he would speak with leaders of other religious communities urging them to shun violence and promote peace.

"I am as concerned about the attacks on Christians as I would have been about attacks on people of other communities," the archbishop said while interacting to mediapersons.

He said the attacks were contrary to India as a "civilisation, culture and a modern state".

Archbishop Williams is on a 16-day visit for the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Church of North India (CNI).

In Kolkatta, the archbishop spoke at a felicitation given to him by the Church of North India which was attended by Governor MK Narayanan, railway minister Mamata Banerjee, Archbishop of Kolkata Ashoke Biswas and British deputy high commissioner Sanjay Wadhwan.

"Since long I have wished to visit Calcutta after having known of its history. As a student I remember being inspired by the work for the poor here," he said.

The head of the Church of England, Dr Williams, later visited the Missionaries of Charity global headquarters and also interacted with orphaned children at Shishu Bhavan.

"The joy that was evident there, I believe, is a response to something very deep in the whole life of this city, not only today but through the ages. Calcutta is known as the City of Joy so it's very moving to see that joy and love at work," The Telegraph quoted him saying after his visit to the Mother House.

Commenting on the Ayodhya verdict, the Archbishop told reporters that he had been closely following the debates and discussions on the verdict.

He said he was relieved that there was a resolution without violence. "I'm glad to see that the way it was received was very peaceful."

On Tuesday, the archbishop would be leaving to Ranchi where a banquet and public reception is being arranged. The following day, the archbishop will hold a holy communion at the 140-year-old St Paul's Cathedral at Bahubazar.

Dr Williams, who is the highest-ranking non-royal in the United Kingdom's order of precedence and the Primate of All England, will visit Nagpur on Oct. 13 for the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Church of North India.

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