This article, and its response, is provided by Religion News Service of the Arab World, which provides English translation of articles in the Arabic press.

The Associated Press on November 24, 1999, quoted the Most Rev. Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, as saying, "I haven't encountered any hostilities toward Christians in Egypt, the further away from a situation, the greater the possibility of distortion."

When we protested this statement, we received the following statement from the Press Office in Lambeth Palace: "The Archbishop replied that in his visit to Egypt he had not encountered any persecution personally, but he is aware of reports of persecution happening. The Archbishop also said that he thought that it was important to insure that there was no persecution or oppression of minorities in any country."

Knowing that the Press Office statement was only an interpretation of what the Archbishop said and not a direct quote, we are at loss of what to make of it. Did the Archbishop actually say what he was quoted by AP, or not? If AP misquoted him, then the Archbishop should issue a corrected statement with a demand that AP publish the correct statement and apologize for their error.

On the other hand, if the Archbishop did in fact say the AP quote, but didn't mean it the way AP reported it, then a corrected statement should be issued spelling out what he meant and what he didn't mean. To tell the truth, it would be hard to accept the notion that the Archbishop didn't mean what was attributed to him, when the second part of his statement doesn't leave any possibility of doubt. That part reads, "the further away from a situation, the greater the possibility of distortion," which can be understood to mean that the ...

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