Vigil for Peace in the Middle East
In the summer of 2006 the Archbishop of York completed a week-long vigil of fasting and prayer for a lasting peace in the Middle East.
The Archbishop also stated the need to support any and all international efforts to restart the shattered peace process in the Middle East:
"Uncovering the purposes of God requires of us as an essential prerequisite to see in one another that image of God himself. Until we can learn to see God in our neighbour, in our enemies and in those we pass by, we will be blind to uncovering God's purposes for ourselves and for our nations.
"The conflict between Israel and Lebanon demonstrated yet again that we cannot afford any longer to leave the issues of the Middle East in the pending tray of unresolved business.
"There is no greater recruiting Sergeant for would be Salafi Jihadists than the continued conflict in the Middle East.
"Without urgent action on our part to to continue to push for a dialogue, for their sakes and our own, the spiral of violence that has lasted longer than the whole of the Archbishop's lifetime (58 years) will continue unabated, as new generations become mired in the enmity of their forefathers.
"The challenge for the international community is to make peace in the Middle East a priority for the sake of us all and to sacrifice their own self-interest in the short term for the prize of sustainable peace.
The Archbishop also said:
"As in all conflicts great and small, both sides have acquired supporters and protagonists. We as humans are prone to divide into camps named For and Against. Christians must continue to struggle to find ways to create communities which transcend tribalism, where we strive to love one another as God loves us. We must not give in to the fear which is in all of us but must seek to fan the spark of divine humanity which we all possess. If we throw ourselves on the grace of God and seek his purposes, our vocation - while never pitching our tent in the valley of relativism – is to see everyone in England, people of faith and none, not as enemies but as beloved neighbours and friends. All made in the image and likeness of God. A God who is Christ-like".