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Archbishop: Gay Marriage Could Mean Murder Of Christians

Friday 4th April 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told LBC that the Church of England embracing same sex marriage could lead to the persecution and murder of Christians elsewhere in the world.

Reverend Justin Welby made history by being the first Archbishop of Canterbury to take calls from the public in an hour long appearance on LBC.

One of the calls he recieved was from Kes in Charlton, a member of the clergy herself, who urged Reverend Welby to allow members of the church to be left to their own conscience on the subject of gay marriage and carry out ceremonies.

"What we say here is heard around the world," the Archbishop, who had earlier revealed that the average Church of England worshipper is a sub-Saharan African woman in her 30s, responded.

"Well, why canít we just do it now? Because, the impact of that on Christians in countries far from here, like South Sudan, like Nigeria and other places, would be absolutely catastrophic, and we have to love them as much as we love the people who are here.

"At the same time, we have to listen incredibly carefully to the LGBT communities here, and listen to what theyíre saying, and we have to look at the tradition of the church, and the teaching of the church, and the teaching of scripture, which is definitive in the end, before we come to a conclusion.

"But, weíre not in a position just to suddenly say, okay our position in this country has changed, we are one of the great international groups that there is in this world, we are massively majority not in England."

The Revered Justin Welby admitted that he had recently visited a grave in Africa of Christians who had been attacked and killed because of something that had happened in America.

However he also admitted that the suffering of gay people, especially teenagers, is of particular concern to him.

"Itís something I wrestle with every day, and often in the middle of the night. Iím incredibly conscious of the position of gay people in this country, how badly theyíve been treated over the years, how badly the church has behaved. And, at the same time Iím incredibly conscious of what I saw in January in the South Sudan in the DRC and other places, you know, itís not a simple issue," he continued.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said that he had been warned while on his visit to South Sudan that the Church of England accepting gay marriage could lead to some communities believing having Christians among them could make them gay and reacting by murdering the Christians.

"The mass grave had 369 bodies in it and I was standing with the relatives. That burns itself into your soul, as does the suffering of gay people in this country." 

- Watch the Archbishop of Canterbury on LBC in full