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Bethlehem's troubles remembered - West with People of Bethlehem

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has reassured the people of Bethlehem that neither they, nor the pressures that they live under are forgotten in the West. During a pilgrimage to Bethlehem with other English church leaders, Dr Williams addressed the city's civic representatives, stressing that problems had to be solved by people working together.

One-sided solutions would not deliver justice, he said:

""¦ in this so troubled, complex land "¦ justice and security is never something which one person claims at the expense of another or one community at the expense of another. We are here to say that security for one is security for all. For one to live under threat, whether of occupation, or of terror, is a problem for all, and a pain for all."

He said the pilgrimage was intended as a sign of hope:

"We are not here to visit an ancient and interesting site. We are not here to visit a museum and we are not here to visit a theme park. We are here to visit a place and people whose very existence speaks of the freedom of God to set human beings free. That is a truth which remains day after day, year after year, millennium after millennium. It is that good news that has driven us here. It is that good news which has teaches us not to despair even in the terrible circumstances in which so many of you now live."

The Pilgrimage, which is being undertaken by His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the moderator of the Free Churches, David Coffey, and the Armenian patriarch of Great Britain, Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian as well as Dr Williams, ends on Saturday.

© Rowan Williams 2006

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