Letter: Charles, Cyrus, Ashoka and the Thai king

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The Independent Online
Sir: I have read with interest recent reports that when Prince Charles becomes King he feels he should be the Defender of Faith, rather than the Defender of the Faith, meaning Defender exclusively of the tenets of the Church of England only. If this is true, I welcome his good sense and applaud him for it. But I think it would be even better if he would consider being unequivocally the Defender of All Faiths.

As the Defender of All Faiths, he would be protecting the right of individuals to explore and hold to differing and even contrary responses to the great questions posed by the experiences of birth and death, as well as encouraging harmony, freedom, justice, mutual respect and tolerance. The example in the third century BC of the Emperor Ashoka of India springs to mind.

I'm sure that, as the Defender of All Faiths, he would best serve the peaceful and civilised growth of the multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious society which Britain has become.

Yours sincerely,

PHRA AJAHN KHEMADHAMMO

The Forest Hermitage

Lower Fulbrook, Warwickshire

29 June

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