Nigel Farage hits out over Archbishop's 'negative messages'
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage has hit out at the Archbishop of Canterbury, after he said the past year had left a world "awash with division and fear".
In his Christmas Day sermon, the Most Rev Justin Welby said 2016 had left people facing a future that appeared "less predictable and certain".
While he did not mention the vote to leave the European Union - the defining UK political event of the last 12 months - his comments drew a sharp retort from Mr Farage.
In a message to his Twitter followers, he wrote: "Merry Christmas. Ignore all negative messages from the Archbishop of Canterbury and have a great day!"
In his sermon, delivered during a Eucharist service at Canterbury Cathedral, the Archbishop said such uncertainty at a time of widespread material prosperity was a sign people were putting their trust in the "wrong things".
While technological progress had failed to deliver economic justice, he said, ultimately it was the glory of God which would chase away "the fear of terror ... and the economies of injustice".
"The end of 2016 finds us all in a different kind of world, one less predictable and certain, which feels more awash with fear and division," he said.
"That uncertainty of our world, our feelings, tells us that our values are in the wrong place. Economic progress, technological progress, communication progress hasn't resulted in economic justice. It hasn't delivered glory for us.
"It is amongst those on the edge, those ignored, and amongst persecuted believers that I have most clearly seen the glory of God this year, a glory that chases away the fear of terror, the power of death, and the economies of injustice, and presents a path to a more just, more Christ-like world."
The Archbishop went on to describe some of the suffering he had witnessed, and the comfort which their Christian faith had brought to those who had been affected.
"Let me tell you about a bomb-injured woman in Pakistan, bereft of her youngest child in the blast that had injured her, who said, 'One thing we know, Jesus really is the good Shepherd'," he said.
" And a lonely elderly woman in London, and a trafficked teenager in Watford, both of whom spoke recently at a Carol service at Lambeth Palace: they have seen the glory of God in Jesus and he has brought powerful transformation to their lives. People on the edge.
"How then do we find glory? The only place and person who can bring glory to us is the child of Bethlehem who became the victim on the cross."