Archbishop of Canterbury visits Egypt and Holy Land

The Archbishop of Canterbury is being accompanied by his wife Caroline on his visit to Egypt and the Holy Land(Photo: YouTube/Lambeth Palace)

The Archbishop of Canterbury began a five-day visit to Egypt and the Holy Land on Sunday.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby will visit holy sites and meet Anglican bishops and other religious leaders during the visit.

In addition to Egypt, the Archbishop will spend time in Jordan, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

A spokesperson for the Archbishop said he was making the visit early in his ministry because of the significance of the region, the importance of the relationships that his office has there, and because he is "keenly aware of the particular pressures on the region at the moment – not least the devastating conflict in Syria, and its impact more widely".

The spokesperson said the Archbishop was deeply concerned for justice and the security of people living in the region, including Christians.

"In particular he wants to support and honour the work of the President-Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Reverend Mouneer Anis in Cairo," the spokesperson said.

Archbishop Welby will be accompanied on all of his visits by the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, the Right Reverend Suheil Dawani.

In Cairo, he will meet Pope Tawadros II, of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb.

He will also meet with the patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem. The trip also includes a meeting with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, with which the Archbishop of Canterbury's office has had a formal dialogue since 2006.

The Archbishop's schedule includes visits to the Church of the Resurrection, the Western Wall, the Haram ash-Sharif and Yad Vashem.

He is also due to attend the opening of a community-based diabetes clinic run by the Anglican Diocese in Ramallah.

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