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Ex-archbishop's plea to 'honorable' kidnappers

  • Story Highlights
  • Former archbishop of Canterbury calls for release of 5 British hostages in Iraq
  • Britons kidnapped last May with 2 Iraqis from Iraqi finance ministry in Baghdad
  • George Carey releases video, appealing to captors as "men of faith"
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A former archbishop of Canterbury called Saturday for the release of five British hostages in Iraq, appealing to their captors as "men of faith."

George Carey addressed the kidnappers as "honorable men" and "men of faith."

"May I appeal to you as honorable people to release these men who have been away from their families for over one year," said Archbishop George Carey, in a video statement released through The Times of London newspaper.

"I appeal to you as good people to release these men who long to be back home once more."

The five Britons were kidnapped last May along with two Iraqis from an Iraqi Finance Ministry building in Baghdad.

The only identified captive is Peter Moore, who said his name in a video released in February and pleaded with the British government to negotiate for the hostages' release.

At the time of his capture, Moore was working as a computer consultant for Virginia-based BearingPoint. The company said the other four Britons were contractors working for the firm; The Times identified them further as security guards.

"I greet you as men of faith," said Carey, who was archbishop from 1991 to 2002. "You believe, as I do, that faith is important in this broken world," he said.

The Times said Carey recorded his message Friday at the House of Lords. Canon Andrew White, the Anglican vicar of Baghdad, also appeared in the video and appealed to the captors in English and Arabic.

"All of the men who are held at the moment were about the restoration of Iraq. They were about trying to make Iraq the place that it should be," White said.

Arabic-language news network Al-Arabiya said it received the February tape from a group calling itself the Shiite Islamic Resistance in Iraq.

The group released an earlier tape in December showing another of the hostages, identified only as Jason.

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