Great Britain is celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. Given the centrality of this document to our way of life (throughout the West), it behooves us to tell its story accurately and completely. Unfortunately, that is not happening. That’s why British churches have started a major campaign that focuses on the Christian influence on the Magna Carta, BreakPoint reports.
The Archbishop of Canterbury helped draft the document in 1215, acting as the intermediary between King John and barons who sought guarantees of freedom from the king’s abuses of power. This likely prevented a civil war.
The Church of England’s Synod of Bishops has stated that “It is important that the Church’s crucial role in Magna Carta and its rights is not air-brushed out in 2015—as was the role of Christians in the anti-slave trade celebrations.”
As the Bishops remind us, “The Church in England was central to the development of legal and human rights centuries before the French Revolution . . . the first parties to the charter were the bishops—led by Stephen Langton of Canterbury, who was a major drafter and mediator between the king and the barons; and its first and last clauses state that ‘the Church in England shall be free.’”
FOR MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE MAGNA CARTA: Why We Celebrate the Magna Carta.