Faith Leaders and Representatives’ Statement in response to the events in Paris
20th November 2015
We, the leaders and representatives of the Faith communities in Sheffield, express our profound horror and shock at the events in Paris over the previous weekend. We stand in solidarity with all those affected by terror attacks on the citizens of Russia, Baghdad, Beirut, Paris and many other places, after weeks of killing meant to instil fear in all.
We recognise, and share, the grief of all those affected by terrorism and violent acts, and we pledge our support, and that of the communities we represent.
We recognise the threat that such terrorist acts can lead to racism and the erosion of trust between peoples of different races, backgrounds and religion. We urge all Faith communities and all of goodwill to find ways of deepening understanding about each other.
We recognise that the events of the past days have seriously escalated the dangerous situation in the World; we call for a calm and reasoned response.
We recognise that the present conflicts have their roots in a vile distortion of religious beliefs and understandings. Now, and into the future, we pledge to do all we can to promote a deeper understanding of the true nature of the Faiths we represent, and the message of unity at the heart of all religion.
We recognise that, as fearful and horrifying as they are, the present conflicts cannot and will not persist forever. We urge those in power to search for a political response to the recent atrocities and to look to a future, beyond the current fearful one, marked by international equality, liberty and fraternity.
And we recognise the need for continued vigilance in combating all that would divide our communities both here in Sheffield and throughout the World. Such attacks as we have recently witnessed seek to spread mistrust amongst people, communities and nations. Therefore, we stand in defiance and assert that our unity with each other and for each other is stronger than hatred.
Signatories to the statement:
Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield
Rt Rev Ralph Heskett, Bishop of Hallam
Rev Gill Newton, Chair of the Methodist District
Qari Mohammad Ismail, Sheffield Federation of Mosques
Ahmed Al-Hidabi, Muslim Association of Britain (South Yorkshire)
Mike Fitter, Amida Buddist Order
Dr Ramesh Munjal, President Sheffield Hindu Samaj
Patsy Cunningham, Sheffield and District Reform Jewish Congregation
Mary Taylor, Yorkshire Baptist Association
Abdool Gooljar, President Islamic Society South Yorkshire
Rev Inderjit Bhogal
Rabbi J Golomb, Rabbi - Sheffield Jewish Congregation
Rev Phillip Borkett, Superintendent Minister the Methodist Church Sheffield
Fr Shaun Smith, Sacred Heart Hillsborough
Lynn Rishworth, Local Co-ordinator for the Pagan Federation
Jeremy Kay, Public Affairs Director, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Rt Revd Tim Ellis, Assistant Bishop and Chair of Sheffield Faiths Together
Andrew Crowley, Chair of Sheffield Interfaith Network
Naseem Dar Ahmadiyya Community
Rt Rev Peter Burrows, Bishop of Doncaster and Chair of Churches Together South Yorkshire
Muhammad Ali, Chair of Pakistan Muslim Centre
Very Revd Peter Bradley, Dean of Sheffield Cathedral
Cllr Julie Dore Leader of the Council (In support of the Faith Leaders statement)