Archbishop of Canterbury 'sorry to brother in Christ' for Palestinian pastor snub

Archbishop of Canterbury 'sorry to brother in Christ' for Palestinian pastor snub
The Archbishop of Canterbury has apologised on X to Palestinian Reverend Munther Isaac after declining to meet him during his UK visit
3 min read
29 February, 2024
The Archbishop of Canterbury apologised on X for declining to meet the reverand [GETTY]

The Anglican Church's Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, apologised on Thursday for not meeting Palestinian pastor Reverend Munther Isaac during his recent visit to the UK to drum up support for Gaza's Christians.

Munther said he was told by Welby's aides, the principal head of the Church of England, that he would not meet the pastor if he shared a platform with former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Palestinian cleric went on to meet the former Labour Party leader during a publicity tour to the UK, where he highlighted the devastating plight of Palestinians in Gaza with more than 30,000 people now killed in a five-month Israeli assault.

"This sums up the Church of England. They danced around positions, and ended up saying nothing. They lack the courage to say things," Munter told The Guardian.

"The small Christian community in Gaza has discovered what is hell on earth. Most of them have lost their homes: 45 destroyed completely and 55 partially destroyed. There is no life left for them. This war will most likely bring an end to Christian life in Gaza. Everyone wants to leave."

The archbishop has now apologised for the rebuff of the Palestinian Christian pastor.

"I apologise for and deeply regret this decision, and the hurt, anger, and confusion it caused," he said on X.

"I was wrong not to meet with my brother in Christ from the Holy Land, especially at this time of profound suffering for our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters," he said, also mentioning he will be speaking and praying with him next week.

Munther has since welcomed his apology on X and looks forward to their meeting.

The reverend has been vocal about the war on Gaza and has been using his church sermons to talk about the suffering of Palestinians.

In February, he spoke at a protest in London hosted by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.

The archbishop said they were concerned about a rise in antisemitism in the UK since 7 October and feared problems for the Jewish community if the two met.

Welby did call for a ceasefire in Gaza shortly after Palestinian Christians slammed the archbishop for failing to condemn the Israeli genocide.