From the Belfast Telegraph. It’s taken him a while, but better late than never. And to have the Chief Rabbi in agreement is more Good News.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby used his Christmas Day sermon to brand the Islamic extremists “a Herod of today” – a reference to the Biblical despotic king of Judea at the time of Jesus’s birth.
In the service at Canterbury Cathedral he said that IS is “igniting a trail of fear, violence, hatred and determined oppression”.
He told the congregation: “Confident that these are the last days, using force and indescribable cruelty, they (IS) seem to welcome all opposition, certain that the warfare unleashed confirms that these are indeed the end times.
“They hate difference, whether it is Muslims who think differently, Yazidis or Christians, and because of them the Christians face elimination in the very region in which Christian faith began.
“This apocalypse is defined by themselves and heralded only by the angel of death.”
The Archbishop, the head of the global Anglican communion, added: “To all who have been or are being dehumanised by the tyranny and cruelty of a Herod or an Isis, a Herod of today, God’s judgment comes as good news, because it promises justice.”
He received support from the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who said in his own message for the festive season that faiths must unite in the face of attacks on their freedom to worship.
He attacked “aggressive secularism that threatens to relegate spirituality and sanctity within our society” as well as the “shameful scourge of hatred and oppression, which remains the most pressing global challenge of our time”.
Rabbi Mirvis said: “It has been reported that persecution of Christians persists in over a hundred countries, more than for any other religion. Faith communities have a responsibility to stand together to oppose discrimination and attacks on freedom of religious expression wherever they are to be found. Most recently, the shocking ban on public celebrations of Christmas in Brunei is reflective of an intolerance that as Jews, we simply cannot countenance.”
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