Church of England

Bishops adopt international definition of antisemitism

Church of England bishops have officially adopted the international working definition of antisemitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

They made the decision during the annual residential meeting of the College of Bishops, which is taking place in Oxford.
Their joint statement endorsing the IHRA definition on behalf of the Church includes all of its examples of antisemitism.


The bishops also called for everyone to reject using language that could cause "prejudice, stigma or hatred towards people on the grounds of their religion, culture, origins, identity or beliefs".
Rt Rev David Walker, Bishop of Manchester said: "The Jewish community, among whom I live in Salford, carry with them the vivid memory and scars of the Holocaust; they know all too well that antisemitism is never far below the surface of our society.
"Today's statement from the Church of England bishops assures them that we will continue to reject such prejudice and bigotry firmly, in line with our practice over 75 years.
"At the same time we will continue to speak out critically when governments here and elsewhere act in ways that our faith calls us to challenge."
The Church of England’s interfaith team and national advisers already use the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism as the benchmark in their work and ministry.
However, the bishops noted the "necessity of making explicit" the Church’s adoption of, and adherence to, the definition.
Last week the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, also spoke of the need for the Church of England to adopt the definition formally.

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