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2016 leaves world ‘awash with fear’


Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury

The leader of the world’s Anglicans said 2016 had left humanity “more awash with fear and division”, in his Christmas Day sermon on Sunday.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said the world’s values were “in the wrong place”, with economic, technological and communications progress failing to deliver justice.

He said the anxiety of modern times showed that trusting and believing in materialism had not worked.

Welby, the spiritual leader of the Church of England and the global communion of 85 million Anglican Christians, delivered his Christmas sermon at the mother church of Canterbury Cathedral in southeast England.

“The end of 2016 finds us all in a different kind of world; one less predictable and certain, which feels more awash with fear and division,” he said.

“Uncertainty in the midst of much, but far from universal, prosperity is a sign of our trust being in the wrong things.

“That uncertainty of our world, our feelings, tells us that our values are in the wrong place,” he said.

“Economic progress, technological progress, communication progress hasn’t resulted in economic justice. It hasn’t delivered glory for us.”

He spoke about the fate of Aleppo in the Syrian civil war, killings in South Sudan and the Berlin market terror attack, and how globalisation was now more associated with insecure employment rather than a new golden era.

Nigel Farage, the Brexit campaign figurehead in Britain’s June 23 vote to leave the EU, hit out at Welby’s message about 2016.

“Merry Christmas. Ignore all negative messages from the Archbishop of Canterbury,” he said.

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