Archbishop of Canterbury Speaks Out for Religious Tolerance

March 3, 2006

Source: The Church of England Newspaper

On March 3, 2006 The Church of England Newspaper reported, "A passionate appeal for tolerance towards religious minorities in Sudan was issued on his first visit to the country by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Williams this week. Dr Williams’ first visit to the country is also the first by an Archbishop of Canterbury since last year’s historic peace agreement between the mainly Christian South and the Islamist government of Khartoum. Many Christian leaders nevertheless believe that the peace deal is being implemented too slowly. A Commission to protect the rights of non-Muslims has yet to be formed, more than a year after it was signed. 'The official position of the government is that non-Muslims are welcome in the new Sudan and the hope is that they will be full citizens,' he said. 'Now the details of that needs to be worked out and I think it is imperative that it should be.' He urged the government to encourage goodwill between the communities by returning church property which has been confiscated... 'For many people in Sudan the policy of intensive Islamisation has not worked in their interests,' said Dr Williams. 'It’s a very foolish government that is not responsive to these shifts.' The Sudanese Primate, Archbishop Marona, described Dr Williams’ visit as timely. 'We need concrete signs of peace which will encourage people and give confidence that the peace is here to stay.' He said that implementing the peace agreement needed 'great vision and courage. It needs people with peace in their hearts.'"