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Archbishop's Challenge to Young People


Monday 9th June 2008

The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu today challenged young people to fight against injustice and oppression; not to do so would be to disobey God. He said, "Neutrality and silence in the face of oppression always aid the oppressors."

Speaking at the 'The Big Hope', the World Congress for Young Leaders at Liverpool Hope University, the Archbishop outlined in his keynote address that we have a responsibility to see each other as brothers and sisters and that this responsibility is both an individual duty and a demand on our communities.

The Archbishop highlighted today's demons: militarism, materialism, consumerism and racism. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi he said, "We need to be the change that we want to see in this world" and that meant taking risks.

He spoke of Archbishop Oscar Romero, shot in the back at the altar, Josephine Butler, a nineteenth century campaigner for socially disadvantaged women and Zmitser Dashkevich, age 26, from Belarus in Eastern Europe, recently imprisoned for his outspoken campaigning for human rights with his country's Youth Front Organisation.

The Archbishop added that we need to recognise the common conviction we have that we all have a responsibility for a better global order. He concluded by sharing some loaves of bread with those present, and challenging them to live out their 'Big Hope' in the most practical ways.

The Big Hope event is a major part of the University's contribution to the programme the Capital of Culture year for the city of Liverpool.


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