Bishops sign faith leaders letter calling for unity after terror attacks

Thu 20 Apr 2017
By Alex Williams

Two Anglican bishops are among two dozen UK faith leaders who have signed an open letter calling for unity and understanding after several terror attacks recently.

Bishop of Southwark Rt Rev Christopher Chessun (pictured above) and Bishop of Stepney Rt Rev Adrian Newman have joined the call for all faiths to be "calm and resolute" in the face of recent attacks in locations including Westminster and St Petersburg.

The letter reads: "Recent attacks, such as those in Westminster, St Petersburg, Stockholm and Egypt, are an affront to faith and each one of us condemns them in the strongest possible terms - as barbaric acts of senseless violence.

"Now more than ever faith groups are uniting in the face of those who would wish to sow fear and spread mistrust between the people of this country.

"These attacks seek to divide us, and together we must show them that they will never succeed. Instead of voices being raised in anger, we will continue to be calm and resolute."

The message comes as Jews mark Passover, Vaisakhi is observed by Sikhs and Muslims prepare for the start of Ramadan next month.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "This time of year is one of hope and celebration for many faiths.

"It is also an opportunity for us to celebrate the fact that people in Britain of all faiths, or no faith, stand together in solidarity, united by our shared values.

"Terrorists and others who would like to divide this great nation and see us live in fear or hatred will never succeed.

"This letter is an example of the fact that whatever our race, background or religion, we share the same fundamental belief in the importance of tolerance and respect for all."

Other signatories of the letter include Ayaz Zuberi from London Central Mosque, Sanjay Jagatia from the Hindu Council of the UK and Rabbi Gluck OBE of the Muslim-Jewish Forum.

The letter continues: "Instead of responding with violence we will continue to show respect for others and love.

"And instead of hatred we will continue to show that the British people are defined by the tolerance and respect that we have seen in abundance over the last few weeks, and that symbolises this country at its best."

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