The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted the terror attacks in Paris made him "doubt" the presence of God.
Justin Welby said he was left asking why the attacks happened, and where God was in the French victims' time of need. He said he reacted with "profound sadness" at the events, particularly because he and his wife had lived in Paris.
Asked if these attacks had caused him to doubt where God is, he said: "Oh gosh, yes," and admitted it put a "chink in his armour."
A bombing campaign against Islamic State was launched after the events, but the Archbishop warned against a potentially damaging instant reaction.
"Two injustices do not make justice. If we start randomly killing those who have not done wrong, that is not going to provide solutions. So governments have to be the means of justice.
"The Bible tells us that they are put there by God with the sword for justice, but they also have to lead us into a place where peace can be established. Religion is so powerful in the way humans behave that it has always been a tool used by the wicked to twist people into doing what they want them to do.
"But just because someone believes something deeply wrong does not mean that they are right in some way because they put God in it. The perversion of faith is one of the most desperate aspects of our world today."
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned MPs not to rush their decision on whether to vote for military intervention in the Syria conflict.
Ahead of tomorrow's early return to Parliament, the Most Rev Justin Welby said he feared the possible consequences of intervention, saying they were "beyond description and horrible".
He told the Daily Telegraph: "I have had a lot of conversations with people in the region.
"I think the overwhelming sense is of a really moving and terrible sense of fear about what might come out of, what might be happening in the next few weeks - not predicated on people doing one thing or people doing another, just a sense that this a terribly, terribly dangerous time."
However, the Archbishop acknowledged that the Government was better informed than he was, making clear that he had no sense that politicians were "slavering" to "unleash the dogs of war."
- The Most Rev Justin Welby read law and history at Trinity College, Cambridge and began his career in the oil industry based in Paris and London, where he worked on West African - mainly Nigerian - and North Sea projects.
- He became a group treasurer in a company called Enterprise Oil, before resigning in 1987 after 11 years in the industry to train for the Anglican priesthood.
- He has also served on the parliamentary Banking Standards Commission.
Conservative politicians have been voicing their support of the Archbishop of Canterbury's plans to provide an alternative to payday lending, on Twitter.
- Credit unions are small non-profit financial organisations set up by members with something in common to benefit their community.
- That common factor may be living in the same town, working in the same industry (for example, the Police Credit Union) or belonging to a particular trade union.
- Roughly 500 credit unions cover the UK offering loans, savings and current accounts to their members. A few even offer mortgages. Almost a million Brits are members.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has told Wonga the Church of England wants to "compete" it out of existence as part of its plans to expand credit unions as an alternative to payday lenders.
The Most Rev Justin Welby, who has served on the parliamentary Banking Standards Commission, plans to:
- Expand credit unions
- Encourage church members with relevant skills to volunteer at credit unions
- Invite local lenders to use church buildings and other community locations with the help of church members
The Archbishop's remarks come after he launched a new credit union for clergy and church staff earlier this month at the General Synod in York.
The Archbishop of Canterbury says the church is to "put its money where its mouth is" and go head-to-head with payday lenders.
The Most Rev Justin Welby told Total Politics magazine the church's plan is to create “credit unions that are both engaged in their communities and are much more professional – and people have got to know about them.”
He added that it would be a "decade-long process".
The Archbishop of Canterbury has told Wonga that the Church of England wants to "compete" it out of existence as part of its plans to expand credit unions as an alternative to payday lenders.
The Most Rev Justin Welby told Total Politics magazine he had delivered the message to Errol Damelin, chief executive of Wonga, one of Britain's best-known payday lenders, during a "very good conversation".
“I’ve met the head of Wonga and I’ve had a very good conversation and I said to him quite bluntly we’re not in the business of trying to legislate you out of existence, we’re trying to compete you out of existence.” He flashes that smile again. “He’s a businessman; he took that well.”
Religious leaders from across the globe are set to join royalty and senior politicians for the enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Most Rev Justin Welby will formally begin his public ministry as head of the Church of England, spiritual leader of the 77-million strong Anglican Communion and 105th Archbishop of Canterbury at a service in Canterbury Cathedral.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall as well as Prime Minister David Cameron will be among around 2,000 people attending the ceremony.
Those also in the congregation will include representatives of major world religions including Muslims, Jews and Sikhs and senior figures from the Roman Catholic and orthodox churches.
The event marks the formal reception of the Most Rev Welby, 57, at Canterbury, the mother church of the Church of England and of the Anglican Communion.