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Archbishops host International Conference on Christians in the Holy Land - opening speeches

Thursday 21st July 2011

A two-day conference on Christians in the Holy Land began on Monday 18th July at Lambeth Palace.

Jointly hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, the Conference will examine the challenging situation in which Christian communities in parts of the Holy Land find themselves.

Participants at the conference will try to identify what can be done, especially by Christians in the West, to better support these communities and tackle the rising trend of emigration by Christians from the Holy Land. 


Archbishop Rowan Williams

Archbishop Rowan opens the conferenceArchbishop Rowan welcomed the participants to the conference, giving a brief outline of the programme and how he hoped it would address the vision of the situation and the future of the Holy Land using language of truthfulness and hopefulness and with gratitude to one another. Listen to Archbishop Rowan's remarks here [14Mb]


Archbishop Vincent Nichols

Archbishop Vincent Nichols giving his introductory remarks

Archbishop Vincent spoke about the important step of the collaboration between the two Christian traditions and how the conference would also hear Jewish and Muslim voices as part of its aim in seeking signs of hope for the common future in the Holy Land - a future of justice and peace. Listen to Archbishop Vincent's remarks here [3Mb]


Patriarch Fouad Twal

Patriarch Fouad TwalHis Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal spoke about the importance of building trust on all sides as without trust constructive dialogue becomes almost impossible: "it is easier to demonise and harder to forgive". He also spoke about the suffering of all people in the Holy Land as a consequence of the conflct - regardless of religion or nationality. Listen to Patriarch Fouad's speech here [18Mb] or read a transcript.


Bishop Suheil Dawani

Suheil Dawani, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, speaking at the conferenceSuheil Dawani, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, talked about the sense of privilege he had in living in the Holy Land, and how that came with responsibilities and the duty to encourage an atmosphere of tolerance and peace.  All those who live there, he said, are 'stewards of the sacred trust' who need to choose the path of peace over that of strife, and that the time had come to embrace a new future.   Listen to Bishop Suheil's speech here [16Mb] or read a transcript.


Archbishop's Appeal for Christians in the Holy Land

Click here to read about Archbishop Rowan's appeal for Christians in the Holy Land, and to view a short video where Archbishop Rowan and Archbishop Vincent speak of their hopes for the conference.


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