URC expresses concern for Jewish and Muslim communities

By staff writers
January 25, 2015

Senior figures in the United Reformed Church (URC) have expressed solidarity with minority communities feeling vulnerable in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris and the aftermath.

John Ellis and David Grosch-Miller, Moderators of General Assembly of the URC, John Proctor, URC General Secretary and David Tatem, secretary for ecumenical and interfaith relations, issued a statement of 'interfaith solidarity' last week.

They affirm the important contribution to national life made by members of the Jewish and Muslim faiths in the United Kingdom.

“Amid reports of security concerns in some of our Jewish and Muslim communities in Britain, the United Reformed Church is keen to emphasise our high regard for both of these faith groups – the Jewish people, with whom we share a common heritage in the Hebrew scriptures, and the followers of Islam with whom we are glad to collaborate in various projects and communities around the land. We strongly affirm and welcome the important contribution to national life made by members of both faith traditions," the church leaders declare.

“We also place on record our wish to work for community cohesion and well-being in places where Christians and adherents of other faiths live side-by-side, and we rejoice in the positive and practical ways in which many of our neighbours reciprocate this concern.

“As a people of faith, we honour the integrity of other faith communities in this island. As we confess Jesus as Prince of Peace, we shall speak and work for peace, as part of our contribution to the common good”, they conclude.

The United Reformed Church was formed in 1972 and today comprises approximately 80,000 adults and 45,000 children in 1512 congregations. Its formation brought together English Presbyterians, English, Welsh and Scottish Congregationalists and members of the Churches of Christ.

Worldwide, more than 80 million Christians are members of the Reformed family of churches, the largest Protestant tradition. The name “Reformed” is used because the churches emerged out of the reform movements of the sixteenth century.

* The aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings - more from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/charliehebdo

* United Reformed Church: http://www.urc.org.uk

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