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The Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday urged Christians around the world to pray for the terrorists who brutally killed at least 67 in Nairobi.
Justin Welby told worshippers not to forget 'the captors' in their prayers, so they can see that violence 'won't have the last word'.
He revealed that he himself had prayed for both the gunmen and the victims, and said that to do so was in line with Jesus Christ's teachings.
Ten Britons are now feared to be among the victims of Saturday's horrific attack on the upmarket shopping mall in the Kenyan capital.
Interviewed on BBC Radio 4's World At One, the Archbishop said: 'As Christians one of the things is that we pray for justice and particularly the issues around the anger that comes when this kind of thing happens, but we are also called as Jesus did on the Cross to pray for those who are doing us harm.'
His comments came two days after he had written on his blog that he had prayed for the gunmen.
'I am praying today for all those who remain hostage in a shopping mall in Nairobi, as well as for their families and friends waiting anxiously for news,' he wrote.
'I'm praying too for their captors, that they would see and understand that hostility and violence will never be allowed to have the last word.'
The Most Reverend Justin Welby also told Radio 4 that victims of an attack on a church in Pakistan should be considered Christian martyrs.
At least 80 people were killed in the double suicide bombing at the All Saints church in Peshawar as worshippers were leaving Sunday Mass.
The Archbishop, who heads up the worldwide Anglican communion, said the victims of the 'appalling' attack had been targeted because of their faith, and called on the Pakistan government to do more to protect all its citizens.
'I think Christians have been attacked in some cases simply because of their faith,' he said. 'I think it is true to say in All Saints Peshawar that we have seen more than 80 martyrs in the last few days.
'They have been attacked because they were testifying to their faith in Jesus Christ by going to church and that is outside any acceptable expression in any circumstances for any reason of religious differences.'
-Daily MailFollow @nairobiwire