Benjamin Atas, archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church, has been appointed new president of the Swedish Christian Council. He replaces Antje Jackelén, archbishop of the Lutheran Church. The election took place in Malmö, yesterday, during the yearly meeting between the Council of Churches and the Council for Missions, which was attended by about one hundred church leaders. The meeting started on Wednesday May 16th with a workshop on “No democracy without religious freedom”. “The Church is an important bridge between the lay world and the religious world” and, as well as giving “confidence in spiritual life”, it is also involved in lay life, said archbishop Atas, adding that “the Council has members from all of the country’s Christian traditions” and “together we are a perfect Church”. According to the archbishop, who, according to the bylaws, will stay in office one year, “all religions should encourage their devotees to be good believers and good citizens”.