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May 8, 2015 9:57 am

Archbishop of Canterbury Vows to Take Rising Antisemitism ‘Seriously’

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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby vowed to take a more serious approach to the rising tide of antisemitism in the UK. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – In an address to leading Jewish figures in the United Kingdom, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby vowed to take rising antisemitism in the U.K. and within his church “seriously.”

In a candid and reflective speech to the Board of Deputies of British Jews—the representative organization of U.K. Jewry—the archbishop said it has been a very “shocking” year with the rise religiously sponsored violence perpetrated by terror groups like Islamic State, Boko Haram, and others “aimed at Jewish communities in Europe and around the world… including very serious attacks on Christian and Anglican communities.”

“We need to stop that, both with security—that is an essential—but also with ideology that undermines, that subverts, the arguments of the radicals, that models an alternative that is about human flourishing and about the flourishing of human societies,” he said.

The archbishop, who serves as the “first among equals” of the 80 million-strong Anglican Church, also acknowledged the rising antisemitism in the U.K., admitting that in the past he has failed to stand up and protest antisemitism. Welby apologized for the actions of Church of England Vicar Stephen Sizer, who attended an antisemitic conference in Iran. The archbishop vowed to take antisemitism “seriously” within the church.

Additionally, Welby said that Christians need to stand up and address the “horrendous” violence against Jewish communities.

“Within the Christian community we need to stand against our own tendency, when exhibited over many centuries, to violence; violence against each other and above all violence against Jewish communities in horrendous and horrible ways going back well over a millennia,” he said.

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  • If this so how is Archbishop Welby going to handle the Anglican Synod who have a strong anti-Semitism and very anti-Isreal. Boycotting Isreal. When it should be Islam.

  • rabbi peter mehler

    I am Greatful that a Christian church leader has come forward to condemn the rising antisemitism in Europe. While a little overdue the importance of the Archbishop’s leadership cannot be overstated. Now it is time for the Catholic Church to do the same. Pope Francis must come forward and renounce antisemitism in Europe and in the UN.These statements must includethe right of Israel to protect it’s borders and citizens.

  • Mike P.


    With all due respect, your very office, the man who occupied your very seat in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, might have been able to stop the Holocaust in its entirety if he merely spoke out against the British government policy of violating its obligations under the Palestine Mandate to provide a homeland for the Jews.

    Hitler asked the allies assembled at Evian who would take the Jews. Britain said no and the world followed.

    Only Britain was OBLIGED UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW to take them into Palestine.

    Had the Archbishop of Canterbury spoken up, stating that it expected its government to uphold its obligations and to provide the Jews refuge in their homeland as Britain had undertaken in accepting oversight in Palestine from the League of Nations, then the Jews would have escaped the killing fields of Europe in time.

    Today, you, yourself, are an enabler of anti-Semitism, and your words against it ring hollow, for in your silence on Israel’s justness, righteousness, and the ugliness and wrongness of Israel’s enemies–be they left, Muslim or otherwise–makes you the deafening silent partner of today’s blood-libelous anti-Semitism prevalent in England presently.