Faith Leaders – Response to the Refugee Crisis

A Statement from the leaders of the Faith Communities in the City of Sheffield

The journey to safety for many refugees has triggered across Europe the largest mass movement of human beings in need since the Second World War. We, the leaders of the Faith communities in Sheffield, wish to add our voices, and the voices of the people we serve, to those of good will everywhere who seek to provide compassion and practical help to those most affected by this situation. We urge people of faith, and none, to come together to show the best of the City of Sheffield’s proud heritage of care for those who have faced persecution and loss.

We ask you to imagine that, under the cover of dark, you have made the decision with your family to leave your home and everything you know. The choices are stark: stay and face persecution and violence, or leave on a perilous journey at the mercy of strangers. Imagine risking the loss of your loved ones anywhere between the land you know as home and the shores of foreign lands you had no wish to be in, facing the possibility of injury and death yourself in order to secure a still uncertain future. Just to be safe.

Therefore we urge all people of good will to respond to the present crisis by giving financially and in kind to the many reputable aid agencies presently offering help and give a safe haven to the displaced refugees: men, women, and children. Further, we ask that we prepare as individuals, communities, and as a City to welcome into our midst those who will come to us in need. We also pledge our own support, and that of the Faith communities we represent, to the City Council and other agencies to work together to help mitigate the present crisis.

Signed….

The Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft ,Bishop of Sheffield
The Rt Revd Ralph Heskett, Bishop of Hallam
Rev Gill Newton, Chair of the Methodist District
Ahmed Al-Hidabi, Muslim Association of Britain (South Yorkshire)
Mike Fitter, Amida Buddist Order
Dr Vithal Patel, President Sheffield Hindu Samaj
Patsy Cunningham, Sheffield and District Reform Jewish Congregation.
Mary Taylor, Yorkshire Baptist Association
Qari Mohammad Ismail, Sheffield Federation of Mosques
Abdool Gooljar , President Islamic Society South Yorkshire
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
Bishop Tim Ellis, Chair of Sheffield Faiths Together
Andrew Crowley, Chair of Sheffield Interfaith Network
Naseem Dar, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Bishop Peter Burrow, Chair of Churches Together South Yorkshire
Muhammad Ali, Chair of Pakistan Muslim Center
Rita Croft, Spiritual Assembly Of The Baha’Is Of Sheffield
Ali Albatati, Muslim Welfare House of Sheffield
Tahnoon Abdullah, Fatima Community Centre, Sheffield
Katherine Lawrence, co-chairman, Council of Christians and Jews, Sheffield Branch
Pastor Musa Bako, The Redeemed Christian Church of God
Kate Napier, Representative of Sheffield and Balby Area Meeting, Religious Society Friends
Lieut.Col Michael Highton, Salvation Army, Yorkshire Division
Rev Simon Copley, Sheffield Team of United Reformed Church
Jamil Akhtar, Secretary UK Islamic mission Sheffield branch
Revd Kevin Watson, Moderator, Yorkshire Synod, United Reformed Church