Archbishop of Canterbury prays for end to regional conflicts

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Portal Welby, has called on the world to pray for African countries hit by conflict, saying they need serious attention to these problems to save the lives of innocent people.
 Archbishop Welby conducts Holy Communion at St. Etienne Anglican Church of Rwanda in Kigali yesterday. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.
Archbishop Welby conducts Holy Communion at St. Etienne Anglican Church of Rwanda in Kigali yesterday. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Portal Welby, has called on the world to pray for African countries hit by conflict, saying they need serious attention to these problems to save the lives of innocent people.

The head of Anglican Communion in the world was yesterday leading a sermon at St Etienne church in Kigali. 

Welby, who is on a tour of Africa, arrived in Rwanda after visiting South Sudan and Burundi.

At the St Etienne Cathedral in Biryogo, hundreds of faithful thronged the church to welcome Welby, who was accompanied by his wife, Caroline Eaton Welby.

Many faithful decided against attending service in their respective parishes, choosing instead to celebrate the Sunday service at the cathedral with Bishop Welby, who last year took over from William Rowan.

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, government ministers and top diplomats were among the faithful.

After his sermon, the archbishop told reporters that it was unfortunate that some African countries are still besieged by conflicts.

“Africa is realising a better future; we pray for peace in some countries that are struggling especially South Sudan, Somalia and DR Congo,” Welby said.

The three countries are facing political turmoil and many people have died, while others have fled their countries.

Homosexuality

The Anglican Church has previously been divided over the issue of homosexuality as some Christians support it, while others are against it.

While commenting on the controversial issue of homosexuality, Welby said God accepts the man to woman union and church cannot change it.

However, he added that there was the need to have respect for human rights.

The head of Anglican Church in Rwanda, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, condemned the homosexuality practice, saying people must stick to marriage ordained by God.

“Homosexuals should know that it’s against the world of God,” Rwaje said.

He said some countries are using the pretext of foreign aid to impose the support of homosexuality on Africa, adding that those practicing it should not be allowed to preach in the church.

Welby proceeded to eastern DR Congo, saying he would return to Rwanda officially to assess the church’s role in economic development.

 

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