Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby Prays for Release of Ashrafi Hostages

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Anglican Communion News Service, 23 Sep 2013 – Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest ranking religious figure in England, in his weekly sermon prayed for the release of Ashraf’s seven hostages.

I have been reminded of this by the stories from Camp Ashraf in Iraq. Until recently it was a refugee camp holding members of the Iranian opposition, among others. Conditions have been very bad. In the very recent past it was raided, a significant number of people were killed and a number of others disappeared into captivity. It’s a form of terror that is calculated to undermine the morale of those close to the people who disappear. Circumstances in wars are never simple; Camp Ashraf has a very controversial history. But that is not the point. Justice is always transparent; the use of kidnap and absence of due process is always obscure. Hostages go into the darkness so that fear spreads among their friends and families.

So make this a week of prayer for hostages, remembering especially those from Camp Ashraf and those in Syria – and the people of Nairobi. We cannot pretend to understand all the complexities of the situation. But we know that such acts of hostage-taking, kidnapping or extra-judicial killing are always wrong.

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