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Faith Leaders’ Statement

Senior religious leaders have joined the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at Lambeth Palace, to issue a joint statement following Thursday’s terrorist attacks in London.

The leaders are the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Free Churches Moderator, Dr David Coffey, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Sir Jonathan Sacks, and the Chair of the Council of Mosques & Imams, Sheikh Dr Zaki Badawi.

The full statement is below. The signatories expressed the hope that other faith leaders and communities would feel free to associate themselves with the joint statement.

 

Full statement

As religious leaders from several different faiths we came together this morning to pay tribute to the courage, commitment and sacrifice by which the evil of Nazism was resisted and ultimately overcome sixty years ago.

We stand together now for a further purpose: to express our shared commitment to resisting and overcoming the evil of terrorism, which the events of recent days here in London have brought home to us afresh and with such devastating clarity. It is an evil that cannot be justified and that we utterly condemn and reject.

Our hearts go out to those who grieve, those who mourn, and those who wait. We pray for them and with them. We remember the dead, the injured and the missing, as well as all those working to save life and restore health.

We want to signal the common ground on which we stand as faith leaders, and to reaffirm the values we uphold at this time of sorrow and pain. It is vital, when many will be feeling anger, bewilderment and loss, to strengthen those things we hold in common and to resist all that seeks to drive us apart. Central to what we share as people of faith is a belief in God's compassionate love for us. It is a love that compels us to cherish not to disfigure our common humanity.

We commend and embrace the continuing efforts to build a Britain in which different communities—including faith communities—can flourish side by side on the basis of mutual respect and understanding. We pledge ourselves to remain true to this goal in word and deed and to work together to make of it an enduring reality. As we do so, we draw hope and comfort from the certainty that in seeking to overcome our own brokenness we will be working with the pattern of God's design for all his children and for the whole human family.