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Archbishop: Christians must resist persecution without violence

The Archbishop of Canterbury delivered his Easter sermon at Canterbury Cathedral. Credit: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/PA Images

The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged Christians to resist persecution without resorting to violence in his Easter Sunday sermon at Canterbury Cathedral.

The Most Rev Justin Welby also called on Christians to support persecuted communities, with love and goodness and generosity.

Speaking about the recent attack in Kenya the Archbishop described the victims as "martyrs".

To witness is to be a martyr. I am told by the Coptic Bishop in England that the Coptic Christians murdered in Libya last month died proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord. They are martyrs, a word that means both one that dies for their faith and one that witnesses to faith.

There have been so many martyrs in the last year. On Maundy Thursday, three days ago, around 150 Kenyans were killed because of being Christian. They are witnesses, unwilling, unjustly, wickedly, and they are martyrs in both senses of the word.

These martyrs too are caught up in the resurrection: their cruel deaths, the brutality of their persecution, their persecution is overcome by Christ himself at their side because they share his suffering, at their side because he rose from the dead.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead the cruel are overcome, evil is defeated, martyrs conquer.

– Archbishop of Canterbury


'Battle of the Churches' as Greek island celebrates Easter

Rockets fly over Vrontados village during Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations. Credit: Reuters

Every year, two rival parishes on the northern Greek island of Chios fire handmade rockets at each other's bell towers to celebrate Orthodox Easter.

Rockets in flight Credit: Reuters

The celebration, known as "rouketopolemos", sees parishioners from Aghios Markos and Panagia Ereithiani fire the handmade fireworks at the other's church bell towers.

The winning village is the one which scores the most direct hits on the other's church.

Rockets streak through the sky during Greek Orthodox easter celebrations on Chios. Credit: Reuters

Queen joins royals in Windsor for Easter Sunday service

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Windsor Castle for the Easter Sunday service. Credit: Paul Hackett/PA Wire
The Queen waves to crowds as she and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Windsor Castle for the Easter Sunday service. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire


  1. Wales

Archbishop calls for Christians to protect environment

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, called for Christians to take climate change seriously Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan has called on people to make changes to their way of life to help protect the environment for future generations.

In his Easter sermon at Llandaff Cathedral this morning, Dr Morgan said Christians needed to take climate change and its impact seriously and react, rather than burying their heads in the sand.

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