Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby sent the following message to the 2nd Worldwide Anglican Peace Conference, meeting April 16-22 in Okinawa, Japan.
Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid” (Matthew 14.27)
The call of Jesus Christ unites us across nations, across oceans and across continents. I greet you all as you gather for the 2nd Worldwide Anglican Peace Conference in Okinawa.
I chose these words from St Matthew’s Gospel for the inauguration of my ministry as Archbishop in Canterbury Cathedral last month. They speak of the courage which is released when our societies seek to place themselves under the authority of God. We dream of becoming the fully human community which God wills for his children. Gathered together and with the release of such courage, this dream becomes possible.
Your gathering has come at the most needful time. We stand with you in solidarity with the people of Korea at this time of heightened tension. I applaud the commitment of the Anglican Communion to work with the Anglican Church of Korea in its dedicated mission towards peace in Korea. May the initiatives you pursue contribute to the breaking down of enmities and to the establishment of a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Recent developments have shown how urgent this remains. I pray that the Lord may grant you the courage to keep faithful to this calling.
I send special greetings to all in Nippon Sei Ko Kai, so very mindful of the tragic events of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster which affected the lives so many people. We stand with you as you face the continuing anxiety of nuclear fallout and address the issues of nuclear power policies as well as questions around the military industry.
One of the great gifts of the Anglican Communion is our shared fellowship and calling cross national and ethnic boundaries. I give thanks for your coming together to seek peace and eagerly pursue it both within East Asia and as a witness to the wider world. I am delighted that my representative Bishop John Holbrook, Bishop of Brixworth in the Diocese of Peterborough is able to be with you and I will look forward to hearing the outcomes of the conference.
May the Lord Almighty give you courage and his blessing of peace.
The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury