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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Archbishop Calls for Release of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahno

Saturday 1st March 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke of his concern for the prompt release of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who was kidnapped after a church service on Friday.

He went on to express his "deep sympathy for the families of those killed seeking to protect Archbishop Paulos and solidarity with the Christian community of Mosul". 

Dr Williams expressed his confidence that the faithful of the Anglican Communion would respond positively to Pope Benedict XVI's invitation "for the universal Church unite in fervent prayer so that reason and compassion prevail in the kidnappers and Archbishop Rahho is given back as soon as possible to his flock".

The Archbishop noted that "This incident illustrates the continuing situation of insecurity in which Christians in Iraq have been living in recent years". This is a point which he and other UK Christian leaders have been at pains to stress since the Iraq conflict began.

Dr Williams also voiced his hope that Muslim leaders in the region be amongst those calling for and seeking to ensure the prompt release of the kidnapped Archbishop. The Archbishop said, "Towards the end of last year I welcomed an open letter from a wide range of Muslim leaders and scholars urging that we "vie with each other only in righteousness and good works" as a witness to a shared love of God and love of neighbour.  It is in response to events such as these that religious and community leaders internationally, regionally and, above all, locally can demonstrate their commitment to mutual respect." 

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