SEASONAL MESSAGES OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE
On December 25, the Archbishop of Canterbury expressed his concern that Christianity might disappear in the Middle East. He need not worry. As long as Israel is there, all religions will be protected. Perhaps those who castigate Israel as an “Apartheid state” should remember there is no discrimination regarding an individual’s right to worship in the only Jewish state in the world. Unlike so many of its neighbours, of whom the Archbishop has a right to be worried. Godfrey Gould, Hove, East Sussex BN3
I think it equally important that when we condemn religious extremism we should do so even if it originates from members of our own faith.
In The Times newspaper on December 24, it recorded that Christians were being persecuted at Christmas-time in many countries in the Middle East.
But I was shocked to read that, in Israel, Rabbi Ben Zion Gopstein who heads Lehava, which opposes the integration of Jews and nonJews, said: “Christmas has no place in the Holy Land.” And he also said, (according to the newspaper) “Let’s throw the vampires out of our land before they drink our blood again”.
I can understand some members of our faith being worried about Jewish people marrying out. But surely most of us would agree that in the same way that we live in a mainly Christian country in Britain, and are allowed to freely practise our religion, so it is fair and right that Christians are free to live in the Jewish state of Israel and be free to practise their religion.
Religious tolerance in any faith should not be condoned. Howard Gardener, Sale, Manchester, M33