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Learning from the past is essential to prevent further atrocities like the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, the Archbishop of Canterbury said, following his visit to the memorial site in India, recently. Archbishop Justin Welby had travelled around key sites in India at the invitation of the Churches of North and South India. He was pictured lying prostrate in front of the memorial commemorating 100 years since the tragedy, when thousands of unarmed Indians of many different faiths were shot by British troops in 1919. He said: “Coming here arouses a sense of profound shame at what happened in this place. It is one of a number of deep stains on British history. The pain and grief that has transcended the generations since must never be dismissed or denied… We have a great responsibility to not just lament this horrific massacre, but most importantly to learn from it in a way that changes our actions … The past must be learned from so nothing like this ever happens again.” The visit to the Massacre site in Amritsar came towards the end of his trip, which began in Kerala, where he prayed with Christians from the Church of South India. Speaking after his visit to Kerala he said: “I’ve been praying with Indian Christians today. It’s an extraordinary reminder that every time this happens, that despite national differences, different languages, all sorts of differences of history and culture, that when we come to Jesus Christ we are united.” The Archbishop, who was joined on the visit by his wife Caroline Welby, said the purpose of his visit was prayer, pilgrimage and pastoral concern and that he was visiting as a religious leader to pray with Christians, to learn about Christianity in India and to share their experiences. On his fourth day in the country he spent time with the Church of South India’s Sisters Order and Women’s Fellowship in Bengaluru and said he had been inspired by their devotion and their “vital work among poor, oppressed and marginalised women and children.”

A Christian politician in Finland investigated by police after posting a Bible verse to social media has warned that the margins of religious freedom will only become “narrower” if Christians stop speaking out on controversial issues.
Päivi Räsänen, a member of the Finnish Parliament for 15 years, quoted Romans 24-27 and posted a picture of the passage from the Bible to criticise her own denomination, the Finnish Evangelical Luthern Church, over its participation in this year’s LGBT Pride festival.
Speaking to Evangelical Focus, the former interior minister said that although many Finnish people still attend church, the influence of Christianity on society is “narrowing” and the perspective of the Christian faith is no longer shared by the majority.The result, she said, was that across a range of issues, like abortion and marriage, it has become “politically incorrect” to have a traditional view.
She said that “many” Christians, especially the young, are afraid to speak openly about their views over fears that it could hinder their career or their social standing.
She admitted that the decision of the police to investigate her “came as a surprise” but said that, regardless of the outcome, she was not going to stop sharing her views.
“The more we keep silent about difficult and controversial topical themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech and religion gets,” she told Evangelical Focus.
“I have a completely calm mind about this. I am going to use my freedom to believe and to speak accordingly, whatever the outcome of this process may be.”
She went on to say that she had considered leaving the Church, in which her husband is an ordained minister, but decided that remaining could be a way to bring about positive change from the inside.

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