Chief Rabbi: Religion is ‘under sustained attack in the public domain’
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Chief Rabbi: Religion is ‘under sustained attack in the public domain’

Rabbi Mirvis made his comments during an interfaith discussion convened by the Commonwealth Jewish Council, featuring a video message from Prince Charles

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has said religion is coming “under sustained attack in the public domain” in a panel debate between faith leaders.

His comments came in an online panel debate with Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh leaders, convened by the Commonwealth Jewish Council, and featuring a video message from Prince Charles.

Asked what he meant by his statement that religion was coming under sustained attack, he said: “There was a time when our society was primarily religious. Then we moved to a time when religion was tolerated. Now we’re experiencing an era in which, in some circles – I shudder to even say it – people are anti-religious.”

He added: “There are movements such as Humanists and secularists and atheists and so on who are actively working to end the existence of faith schools, to remove Christmas carols from malls in December, to remove representatives of faiths within the media, so the public square should be void of religion.”

Referring to the role of religion during the coronavirus pandemic, Mirvis said such a void would be “a tragedy for society, especially at a time when religion has so much to give a vulnerable world”.

Elsewhere in the debate, Mirvis addressed an audience question on the role of religion when it comes to both women’s and girls’ rights as well as the LGBT+ community, saying they were “huge issues”.

He said: “Religion has a responsibility to every single person within our societies and in many respects we are failing in those regards.”

In his pre-recorded message, Prince Charles said it was “important to celebrate the remarkable religious diversity” of the Commonwealth, citing his visit to a synagogue in Barbados as one of several times in which he saw that diversity in action.

The heir-to-the-throne paid tribute to “the essential role that faith communities play in the social fabric of so many Commonwealth countries… so often the main providers of welfare, health and education to all sorts of people”.

 

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments