Archbishop of Canterbury denounces attacks on Zimbabwe church

Sun Oct 9, 2011 5:54pm GMT

* Williams criticises attacks on local Anglicans

* Says no need to live in terror, bloodshed

* Mugabe to press Williams on sanctions, homosexuality

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on Sunday issued a strong criticism of the government of Robert Mugabe and told thousands of cheering Anglican members in Harare not to retaliate against attacks on the church in Zimbabwe.

Williams' comments risk angering the Zimbabwean president who has not yet confirmed whether he would meet the Anglican archbishop, on a rare visit to Zimbabwe.

Williams, who travelled with police escort, was greeted by thousands of singing and cheering Anglican members at an indoor sports centre in Harare where he delivered a sermon attended by bishops from South Africa, Zambia, Bostwana and Tanzania.

"For a long period in this country, an anxious ruling class clung on to the power they had seized at the expense of the indigenous people and ignored their rights and their hopes for dignity and political freedom...

"How tragic that this should be replaced by another kind of lawlessness, where so many live in daily fear of attack if they fail to comply with what the powerful require of them," Williams told the crowd.   Continued...

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