Archbishops urge caution on Syria

The conflict in Syria has been raging for more than two years now. This photo was taken last March 22, 2013. Photo by: fpolat69/Shutterstock
The conflict in Syria has been raging for more than two years now. This photo was taken last March 22, 2013. Photo by: fpolat69/Shutterstock
Published August 28, 2013

Both Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and his predecessor, Archbishop George Carey, have warned of the consequences of military action in Syria.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Welby said British Members of Parliament must be sure about the facts on the ground before acting amid “a really delicate and dangerous situation.”

Welby, who is a member of the House of Lords, said there were “numerous intermediate steps” to consider between doing nothing and regime change, adding there was no “good answer” or any simple solutions.

Lord Carey of Clifton who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 until 2002 said armed intervention in Syria could lead to a regional war. He said he shared the British Prime Minister’s outrage at a government using chemical weapons against its own people, but was opposed to the UK entering into the conflict in Syria.

In the interview with The Telegraph, Welby also highlighted the plight of Christians in the region saying that people there had a “terrible sense of fear about what might come out of, what might be happening in the next few weeks.” His immediate predecessor, Archbishop Rowan Williams, has said nothing publicly on the subject of military intervention in Syria.

However, he recently highlighted the persecution of Christians in countries around the world. Speaking to an audience at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Lord Williams, who is now Master of Cambridge’s Magdalene College, told an audience that he himself had Christian friends in Syria who had disappeared and “whose fate remains unknown.”

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