Reverend Justin Welby described the suicide bombing of a church in Pakistan which killed at least 80 as “appalling” and said the victims were “martyrs”.
However, the Anglican church leader said he had prayed for both the victims and gunmen of the Nairobi shopping mall attack which killed at least 67 in Kenya.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s The World At One, Reverend Welby said: “I think Christians have been attacked in some cases simply because of their faith.
“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.”
Revered Welby told worshippers not to forget “captors” in their prayers and that praying for them was in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
At many as ten Britons have died in the Nairobi terrorist attack which resulted in a four day standoff between gunmen and police.
While the Pakistan attack saw a pair of suicide bombers attack a church in Peshawar as worshippers were leaving following Sunday mass.
Reverend Welby said: “As Christians, one of the things is that we pray for justice, we’re deeply committed to justice and particularly the issues around the anger that comes when there’s this sort of killing but we’re also called, as Jesus did at the cross, to pray for those who are doing us harm.” [More]