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Justin Welby: Mixing faith and politics 'is worth risking one's head for'
The Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed he is not willing to remain silent about political issues despite the risks involved.
In an article published in the Huffington Post, the Most Rev Justin Welby explained why his faith made him duty-bound to call and work for "the society that God calls us to pursue".
"Politics and church are risky things to do at the same time. Five of my predecessors as Archbishop have died violently, three because they were involved in politics.
"You would have thought that we might have learned. Stay quiet, don't collect taxes and keep your head down (and on).
"The trouble is that's not what Jesus Christ did. He was never party political. No wing of politics - left or right - can claim God as being on its side.
"But Jesus was highly political. He told the rich that, unlike the poor who were blessed, they would face woes. He criticised the King as a fox. He spoke harsh words to leaders of the nations when they were uncaring of the needy."
"He did this because God cares for those in need and expects those who claim to act in his name to do the same. That means action - and words."
Archbishop Justin rejected claims by critics that he was shifting the Church of England politically rightwards when he urged Anglicans to vote for "stability" in the run-up to the general election.
In a recent interview with Sky News, he said "God is not left-wing or right-wing" after it was implied he "takes policy positions close to Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party".
He wrote in the Huffington Post that he "passionately" believes the Church needs to be involved in the "speaking of a vision for society".
"We need to face our challenges today with a fresh vision that is confident, practical and outward looking," he said.
"We need to be witnesses to the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed, as the churches often are (although they also often get things wrong) and also by speaking of a vision for society."
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