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Archbishops' Council meets Iraqi church leader

Archbishop Bashar Warda with the Archbishop of Canterbury

Thursday 17th March 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, together with the Archbishop of York and the Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, today welcomed Archbishop Bashar Warda, Chaldean Archbishop of Arbil, to Lambeth Palace, during his visit to Britain.

Dr Williams said:

"The Archbishops of York and I, and the Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, welcome Archbishop Bashar Warda with great warmth and appreciation of his courageous witness. The bravery of so many Christians in Iraq today, in the face of increasing violence and threat, is one of the most compelling proofs of the power of the Risen Lord, and we give thanks for this, even as we also raise our voices to support their plea for support in the wider world.

The exodus of so many Christians from the Middle East as a direct result of appalling intimidation by extremists is still something that not enough people here are aware of, and we hope and pray that Archbishop Warda's visit will help to change this."

Archbishop Warda was one of the senior Catholic bishops in Iraq to whose appeal for solidarity, following the 31 October 2010 killings in Baghdad, Archbishop Williams responded in his open letter of 12 November 2010 - Archbishop's message to Christians in Iraq.

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