Archbishop of Canterbury relieved over peaceful response to Ayodhya verdict
Expressing satisfaction that the recent Ayodhya verdict was received calmly by the people of India, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said here on Saturday that it was time for people to “move on” now.
The Archbishop, who is on a 16-day-visit to India at the invitation of the Communion of Churches in India, started his tour from the city that he had “long wished to visit as a student, especially after reading about the good work done here for the poor”.
Speaking to mediapersons at an interactive session organised by the Diocese of Kolkata (Church of North India), he said that he had been closely following the discussions and debates that preceded and followed the verdict.
“I am relieved that there is a resolution without violence. It is a complicated story but I hope that the people move on henceforth,” the Archbishop said.
Asked if there was any legal birthplace of Jesus Christ akin to Lord Rama's, as pronounced by the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court in the Ayodhya case, he answered in the negative.
“As far back as we can trace, it seems that Jesus Christ had taken birth somewhere in Bethlehem but there never has been any legal place of birth,” the Archbishop asserted.
Attacks on Christians
He expressed his concern about the attacks on Christians in some parts of India and said that he would raise the issue with leaders of other communities.
“I am as concerned about the attacks on Christians as I would have been about attacks on any other community. Even many prominent Hindus had condemned those attacks. I know that this is not what India is as a civilisation, as a modern state,” he observed.
Recounting his experience of visiting the Mother House earlier during the day, the Archbishop said the “presence of joy is evident there and is moving to see.”
He also met some women who had been trafficked.