Archbishop Says, Christians Face Middle East Elimination, Islam is the Herod of Today
From Sky News:
Christianity is facing "elimination" in the Middle East at the hands of an Islamic State "apocalypse", the Archbishop of Cantebury has warned.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby used his Christmas Day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral to say IS is "igniting a trail of fear, violence, hatred and determined oppression".
He branded the Islamist extremists as "a Herod of today" - a reference to the Biblical despotic king of Judea at the time of Jesus's birth.
"Confident that these are the last days, using force and indescribable cruelty, they (IS) seem to welcome all opposition, certain that the warfare unleashed confirms that these are indeed the end times," he said.
"They hate difference, whether it is Muslims who think differently, Yazidis or Christians, and because of them the Christians face elimination in the very region in which Christian faith began.
"This apocalypse is defined by themselves and heralded only by the angel of death.
"To all who have been or are being dehumanised by the tyranny and cruelty of a Herod or an ISIS, a Herod of today, God's judgement comes as good news, because it promises justice."
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis used his own festive message to urge all faiths to unite in the face of attacks on their freedom to worship.
He said: "It has been reported that persecution of Christians persists in over a hundred countries, more than for any other religion.
"Faith communities have a responsibility to stand together to oppose discrimination and attacks on freedom of religious expression wherever they are to be found.
"Most recently, the shocking ban on public celebrations of Christmas in Brunei is reflective of an intolerance that as Jews, we simply cannot countenance."