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Christian and Jewish leaders reaffirm commitment

The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) has re-affirmed its commitment to its core mission after completing its 75th year of existence.

It was founded in 1942 amid the turmoil of the Second World War and has become the leading nationwide forum for Jewish-Christian engagement.

The Council says Christian/Jewish relations have grown strong and flourished in the UK during the past 75 years.

However, it recognises that global society is living through a period of increased hatred, extremism, and polarisation and that, in the UK, antisemitism and antisemitic discourse has become more noticeable in public life and within social media.

The Council members who are leaders of the Jewish and Christian communities in the UK state that antisemitism has no place in British society and call on those in positions of power and influence to listen to such concerns.

They also commit to speaking out on anti-Christian sentiment and persecution of Christians in many parts of the world today.

CCJ Chair, Bishop Michael Ipgrave said: "It has been very encouraging to see the renewed endorsement which our Christian and Jewish Presidents have given to CCJ as we complete our 75th anniversary year.

"We are grateful for their support, as we feel that our work is of ever increasing importance in our society at this time, with rising levels of antisemitism and increasing xenophobia and discrimination towards minority communities."

CCJ Director Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko said: "These are challenging times, nationally and globally.

"As faith communities, when we stand up for one another and demonstrate unity against hatred and division it has such a powerful impact.

"CCJ has been bringing faith communities together for 75 years; and that is why it has remained relevant.

"The work of CCJ is so essential at this time and in every generation.'

In a joint statement, the CCJ members said: "To mark CCJ's 75th Anniversary we recommit ourselves to respond to the challenges of today.

"We call on people of faith to act together with us: To promote religious and cultural understanding and advance the elimination of religious and racial prejudice, with particular reference to antisemitism, through Education, Dialogue and Social action."

The full list of signatories is as follows:
Most Rev and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism
Rt Rev Dr Susan Brown, Moderator of General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi of the S&P Sephardi Community
His Eminence Archbishop Gregorious, Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain
Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi and The Chief Executive, Liberal Judaism
Rev Dr Hugh Osgood, Moderator of the Free Churches
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism

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