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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 December 2006, 10:10 GMT
Church leaders in tolerance call
Rev David Clarke
Rev David Clarke said they wanted people to look forward
The leaders of Northern Ireland's four main churches have called for an end to sectarianism and prejudice.

In a joint New Year message they asked people to pray to help achieve this.

The Presbyterian moderator, the Reverend David Clarke, said they hoped people will show tolerance for one another.

"It's very easy to look back and complain about one thing or another - I think we want to look forward to a shared future," he said.

"Where we recognise the equal rights of everyone in society and respect for other people with whose political views we may differ.

"I think it is a constructive attitude we want to encourage - to look forward with hope for the future to build a better society for all our people."

The statement - from Rev Clarke, Archbishop Robin Eames (Church of Ireland) Archbishop Sean Brady (Catholic) and Rev Ivan McElhinney (Methodist President) - said 2007 would be a year of decision.

"The decisions we make will either take us forward into a shared future with a mindset of moving forward together or leave us in the past trapped by our grudges and prejudices," they said.

"As Christians we believe our future is in God's hands and we would ask people to join us in prayer seeking guidance for ourselves, wisdom for our politicians and leaders and for the good of all our fellow citizens.

"We ask everyone to reject those words, attitudes and actions which fuel prejudice and sectarianism."


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