Archbishop of Canterbury meets with chief rabbis

Dr. Rowan Williams emphasized “the importance of constructive dialogue and co-existence between all religions,” during visit to Israel.

February 5, 2012 12:08
1 minute read.
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY Dr. Rowan Williams (right

Archbishop of Canterbury 390. (photo credit: Courtesy of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and )


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Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams met with Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar on Thursday during a week-long personal pilgrimage to Israel and the West Bank.

The office of the Diocese of Jerusalem of the Anglican Church said that during Williams’ visit he emphasized “the importance of constructive dialogue and co-existence between all religions,” and the need to “consolidate the peace process between the people of this region.”

Invited by the head of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem Bishop Suheil Dawani, Williams was on a private tour and so did not make any public statements.

Williams arrived in Israel on Monday and visited Nazareth, where he met with Christians, Muslims and Druse, religious leaders and local mayors.

The Archbishop and his pilgrims also visited St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in the village of Zababida in the northern West Bank and met with the Mayor of Zababida Vector Khader and the Governor of Jenin Qadura Musa.

Williams has expressed concern of late for the security of Christians in the Middle East, describing the position of Christians in the region as “more vulnerable than it has been for centuries,” during a debate in the upper house of the British Parliament, the House of Lords, in December.

Referencing the series of revolutions and upheavals in the Arab world in the last year, Williams said, “the security and well-being of the historic Christian communities in the region is something of a litmus test in relation to the wider issues of the political health of the region.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury heads the Church of England and is the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the third largest Christian communion in the world with approximately 80 million followers.

Williams will return to the UK on Friday.

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