|Rowan Williams slams Bethlehem barrier|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Monday, 25 December 2006 17:00|
|I saw this on the television while visiting my friend Angela in Portrush. It made me so angry. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams - also a practicing druid, visited Bethlehem just before Christmas. Many Christians visit Israel and Bethlehem to remember the Lord's birth. But it seems Rowan's trip to Bethlehem was more of a political nature than a religious one. The delegation of Christian leaders had planned to walk through a pedestrian checkpoint to get to Bethlehem, equipped with CCTV cameras and IDF soldiers. There is no doubt such an act would have brought immediate condemnation of Israel, an Archbishop of England being treated like a potential suicide bomber. |
Quote: "Accompanied by Christian church leaders from Jerusalem, the delegation made its way through the notorious checkpoint at the entrance to the town, which prevents all but a few Bethlehemites - who need special permits - from travelling and trading with neighbouring Jerusalem. The church leaders had planned to walk through the pedestrian checkpoint - an elaborate steel construction involving turnstiles, CCTV cameras, and gun-wielding soldiers. But at the last moment, the Israeli security forces diverted them through the less humiliating vehicle entrance point, causing camera crews waiting on the other side to rush to get pictures.
The Archbishop also criticized the wall that now encircles most of Bethlehem, commenting that it was the barrier that was causing the Christian population in Bethlehem to dwindle. He also stated that British policies in Iraq were putting the lives of Christians living in the Middle East at risk.
Quote: "On Saturday, Williams clashed with the British government when he said the "shortsightedness" and "ignorance" of Britain's policies on Iraq were putting Christian communities in the region at risk. The Foreign Office issued a quick rebuttal, saying their suffering was caused by the "intolerant extremism" of those opposed to a democratic society.
It is Islamic persecution of the Christians in Bethlehem that is to blame for the low Christian population in the town. It's not the first time the Church of England has taken sides against the Jews. In February of this year, the Church voted to divest from Israeli firms operating in lands captured during the Six Day War, causing the former Archbishop Lord Carey to exclaim that he was "ashamed" to call himself an Anglican. You wouldn't think the One that Rowan Williams was coming to worship was born a Jew. Well according to the British Independent Newspaper, He was not.
Quote: "In two days, a third of humanity will gather to celebrate the birth pains of a Palestinian refugee in Bethlehem - but two millennia later, another mother in another glorified stable in this rubble-strewn, locked-down town is trying not to howl.