Birmingham Faith Leaders – Press Statement on Birmingham Disturbances

At this time of disorder and in the wake of the violence that has flooded our streets, we, the members of the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group, urge all our communities to join together to rebuild a just, harmonious and peaceful city.

As people of faith we call on you to pray for peace, to pray for those affected by destruction and greed and to pray for those, including the police, working round the clock to maintain the rule of law, care for the distressed and rebuild damaged businesses.

At the same time we ask everyone of goodwill to take urgent practical steps to ensure the flourishing of the city, the safety of our streets and the restoring of relationships that have been damaged over the last few days.

Together we need to be grasped by a vision for the future of the city of Birmingham and ensure it comes to fruition. We encourage those who have direct responsibility for young people in insisting that all those who are growing up in our city have a framework of values and disciplines with which to build their lives.

We will continue to work for communities that live together, connected by trusting relationships, mutual respect and joint enterprise.

We commit ourselves to reduce social inequality that becomes a breeding ground for resentment, greed and spite.

We send our deepest sympathy to those who are recently bereaved in Winson Green and thank them for their example of restraint and dignity as they face their loss with courage and resolve.

We are grateful for those who have already begun the work of reconciliation, the practical tasks of clearing up the city and the unseen endeavours to be good neighbours.

Let us all, like them, do whatever we can to build the common good, to bring hope onto our streets and to chase away the darkness of evil with the light of our faithful good works and prayers.

Notes for Editors

The Birmingham Faith Leaders’ Group is composed of the principal leaders of Birmingham’s six major faith communities – Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and Jews. The Group grew out of the immediate aftermath of the tragedy of 9/11 and the threats made to the Muslim community at that time. An initial gathering of faith leaders on the steps of Birmingham Central Mosque on 12th September 2001 led to the formation of the Group.

During the subsequent decade the Group’s 14 members have worked together to generate understanding between communities and to develop a diverse, faith-based vision for the city.

For further comment please contact the Executive Secretary, Jonathan Gurling on 0121 608 1328 or 07980 127628.

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