Churches and military conformism

By Press Office
February 12, 2010

After the Royal Navy's most senior chaplain suggested at the Church of England's General Synod that clergy should avoid criticizing war and government policies backing it, Symon Hill, co-director of the religion and society thinktank Ekklesia, commented:

“Of course clergy need to be sensitive about the effect of their remarks from the pulpit. However, John Green seemed to go beyond this and imply that churches should refrain from challenging government policy and looking critically at the effects of the war in Afghanistan. Such an approach would appear unfair to all those involved in the Afghan conflict, including British soldiers.

“We are no longer in a Christendom situation, in which the Church is allied to the state. The churches are able to use their freedom to speak prophetically and to promote creative solutions to conflict.”

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