Tax avoidance, violence and war the target of Sentamu’s Easter sermon

Crowds gathered out York Minster on Saturday to watch as the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, and fellow ministers, baptised several people during an outdoor ceremony.  Elim Pentecostal Church member, Ashleigh heslin is pictured with her minister, Graham Hutchinson and the Archbishop .April 19 2014
Crowds gathered out York Minster on Saturday to watch as the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, and fellow ministers, baptised several people during an outdoor ceremony. Elim Pentecostal Church member, Ashleigh heslin is pictured with her minister, Graham Hutchinson and the Archbishop .April 19 2014
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Human trafficking, child sex abuse and violence across war-torn countries are the “fruit” of “wilful senility” in society, the Archbishop of York has said.

Dr John Sentamu used his Easter Day sermon at York Minster to highlight a wide range of issues from gender-based violence and tax avoidance to fighting in Syria and the Central African Republic.

He said: “Sadly, we have forgotten our memory as people who have been rescued, and we have become senile.

“Human trafficking, child sexual abuse, citizen indiscriminatingly killing citizen in the Central African Republic, Syria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo; gender-based violence, tax avoidance, embezzlement of government funds in many parts of the world, hunger, poverty, lack of drinking water, and preventable diseases in our global village; and the use of stereotypical language that diminishes people we happen to disagree with, are all the fruit of our wilful senility.

“We were all rescued, redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“Let us recover our memory and become who we are. A people rescued.”

Dr Sentamu, the Church of England’s second highest-ranking cleric, said “the admission of all sorts and conditions of men and women” into the Christian community had been “a very severe, painful and paralysing religious issue”.

Drawing comparisons with the Hollywood film Saving Private Ryan, Dr Sentamu said God had “embarked on a rescue mission - code-name: Redemption: Cross-Resurrection”.

“God’s rescue mission was not an afterthought or an emergency, like the mission to rescue Private Ryan,” he said.

“It was God’s purpose from eternity, that God’s only son would come to rescue the human race.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury also used his Easter sermon to highlight the hardship of people suffering from conflict around the world and in Britain.