JOHN Sentamu is an Archbishop of York who has never been afraid to make a bold political statement.
In 2007 he famously took off his dog collar and cut it up on the Andrew Marr show – saying he’d never wear it again until Robert Mugabe’s “corrupt and oppressive” regime was removed from office.
In 2006, meanwhile, he staged a week-long vigil and fast for peace inside York Minster to draw attention to the plight of those in the conflict between Israel and Lebanon. He had his head shaved, went on a water diet – and slept rough in a tent inside the cathedral.
Yesterday, he began a second week-long fast and vigil, this time to pray for hope and peace for those caught up in conflict, oppression and poverty around the world.
Throughout the week, he will be praying on the hour, every hour, from 6am to 6pm.
In a statement released before his vigil began, he urged Christians everywhere to “join me in praying especially for those places in our global village devastated by militarism, idolatry ... dictatorships and abject poverty.”
He even quoted Gandhi saying: . Urging people to display white linen in their windows as a symbol of support, he said:“All people of good will may do this! Be the change you want to see”.
It is inspiring to see a senior church figure willing to lead like this.
We hope good people everywhere will take heart from his example and be more willing themselves to speak out against the fanaticism and violence that blights the lives of so many.