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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 19:29 GMT 20:29 UK
Muslims and Christians 'allies'
Dr John Sentamu next to his tent
The archbishop camped in York Minster in protest against the war
The Archbishop of York has said British Christians should see Muslims as allies in the struggle against secularism.

In a speech at York Minster, Dr John Sentamu said British Muslims were not offended by Christianity and preferred it to a secular state.

In a wide-ranging speech, he also spoke of the recent conflict between Israel and Lebanon.

He said it had been characterised by "the cheapening of human life" now taken for granted by those in power.

He criticised a situation "where the deaths of innocents are regretted in the same breath as the next volley of rockets are launched or air sorties scrambled".

He also said Britain had been damaged by the downgrading of religion and urged political parties to adopt Christian values.

He said: "As a society we are in danger of suffering from collective amnesia when it comes to considering the work of those who have uncovered the purposes of God in our history, and in particular seem to have airbrushed from history the motivation of these social pioneers who have been inspired to act by a passionate and vivid faith in God."

'Learn to forgive'

He also urged the government to do more to support families.

"The well-being of the whole community requires that children, so far as possible, be brought up by their own parents as members of one family, with all the give and take that family life demands," he said.

"For it is within the family that we first learn what it means to love, to trust and to care for one another. We learn how to forgive, how to overcome and how to grow.

"These lessons are not optional, and for the fabric of society to remain strong, the state and the laws of the land need to support and encourage families."

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