Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said that the theology of
Christian Zionism has no historical base and is a recent Protestant
addition, according to Petra, the Jordanian state media agency.
Williams, who is on a four-day visit to Jordan, Israel and Palestine
from Feb. 19-23, was reported by Petra as saying that the belief by
some Protestants that the establishment of the Jewish state is a
prerequisite for the return of Christ doesn't have a historical
basis and only appeared as a result of "some biblical studies in the
Christian Zionism is a belief among some Christians that the return
of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of the State of
Israel in 1948, is in accordance with Biblical prophecy. Some
Christian Zionists believe that the gathering of Jews in Israel is a
prerequisite for the Second Coming of Jesus. This belief is
primarily associated with Christian Dispensationalism and the idea
that Christians should actively support Israel.
In the same Petra report, Williams said the Amman Message aims to
clarify to the modern world the true nature of Islam. The Amman
Message is a statement that was issued in 2004 by King Abdullah II
bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, calling for tolerance and unity in the
Muslim world. A three-point ruling was issued by 200 Islamic
scholars from over 50 countries, focusing on issues of defining who
a Muslim is, excommunication from Islam (takfir), and principles
related to delivering religious edicts.
Williams was quoted by Petra as saying not only that the Amman
Message is a constructive initiative launched by Jordan for the
coexistence of people of different faiths, but also that suspicion "against
Muslims comes from those who stay away from church."
Additionally, in an interview with Petra, Williams said that
relations between Muslims and Christians in Britain are very good.
He added, according to Petra, that the challenges facing those who
attempt to achieve peaceful coexistance is to reach people who avoid
Williams plans is meeting with Christians in the Holy Land,
including Anglicans in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, and is
accompanied throughout by Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil Dawani.
The archbishop will also meet with local heads of state and
government and lead the Anglican delegation in the fourth round of
discussions with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
The archbishop is being accompanied for the duration of the visit by
Church of Ireland Bishop Michael Jackson of Clogher, the Anglican
chair to the Anglican Jewish Commission.