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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 October 2006, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Archbishop holds Beijing service
Dr Rowan Williams
The Archbishop discussed 'inner freedom' in the sermon
The Archbishop of Canterbury has held a service in Beijing for the first time, welcoming the role Christians were playing on key Chinese issues.

Dr Rowan Williams said there was "great opportunity" for Christian leaders and Chinese intellectuals to play their part in "responsible discussions".

The Archbishop has discussed the environment, censorship and the death penalty in his two-week visit.

He praised China for the way it treated children from difficult backgrounds.

Dr Williams praised the efforts of people who helped orphans and the work done with youngsters whose parents were in prison or had been executed.

Myth

In a sermon delivered at the Chaoyang Protestant Church in the Chinese capital said: "Christians must develop an inner freedom.

"A freedom that allows them to see the truth about themselves and about the society they live in."

He also said: "It is no longer true - if it ever was true - that being Christian is to stop being really Chinese."

During his trip, Dr Williams has spoken of a "growing spirit of openness" in the country.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Rowan Williams in Beijing



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