The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has expressed his deep anxiety for Christians in the Middle East, but also cautious optimism about possible outcomes of the Arab Spring.
Speaking during an interview with Martha Kearney on BBC Radio 4's "World at One" programme, the Archbishop expressed his continuing concerns about the fragile situation of Christian minority populations across the Middle East where in places life for Christians was "becoming unsustainable". The situation had been, and remained, most serious in Iraq. He also spoke of "the haemorrhaging of Christians" from parts of the Holy Land.
He also said he was "cautiously hopeful" about the possibility of an emerging "pluralist democratic future" in the wake of the Arab Spring. "Hopes were too vivid" for repressive regimes to revert to type: "change will have to come".
To listen to the interview, as broadcast on BBC Radio 4 or to read the transcript of the full interview, as originally recorded, visit http://bit.ly/iGIWSA