REFUGEE CRISIS

Faith Leaders' Open Letter to the Prime Minister

 We are leaders from Britain’s major faiths: Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Zoroastrian.  All our faiths compel us to affirm the dignity of all human beings and to offer help to anyone in need. As people of faith, we call on your Government urgently to revise its policy towards refugees. 

The best of this country is represented by the generosity, kindness, solidarity and decency that Britain has at many times shown those fleeing persecution, even at times of far greater deprivation and difficulty than the present day. We rejoice in the mosaic of different faiths and British communities that we now represent.   We are proud that in May 2016, in a survey by Amnesty International, 83% of Britons said they would welcome refugees into their neighbourhoods and households.

In the face of the unfolding human catastrophe, there are immediate and viable steps that the Government can take to offer sanctuary to more refugees. We call on you to create safe, legal routes of travel, for example by adopting fair and humane family reunion policies for refugees.  Under the present immigration rules, a British doctor of Syrian origin could not bring her parents from a refugee camp in Lebanon – even though they were refugees and she could support and house them. A Syrian child who arrived alone in the UK could not bring his parents from a refugee camp in Jordan – even if the child were recognised a refugee and even though his parents were themselves refugees.  Families in these situations can currently be reunited only by resorting to desperately unsafe irregular journeys, sometimes ending in avoidable tragedies.

We urge you to do more to welcome refugees and to ensure that your Government adheres to four refugee principles. These principles have already been endorsed by over three hundred and fifty judges and lawyers; by the main humanitarian aid and refugee agencies; and by over a hundred and twenty-five economists.  These four principles were the ‘charter’ of a demonstration last September 2015 attended by 90,000 people. On 17 September, these four refugee principles will underpin another major demonstration in London in support of refugees:


  1. The UK should take a fair and proportionate share of refugees, both those already within Europe and those still outside it.
  2. Safe and legal routes to the UK, as well as to the rest of Europe, need to be established.
  3. Safe and legal routes within Europe, including the UK, should be established.
  4. There should be access to fair and thorough procedures to determine eligibility for international protection wherever it is sought.

All our faiths teach us to alleviate suffering and share with those in need; many of our members and congregants are already active in helping refugees. We call on the Government to do more.

224 Signatories

  • Lord Dr Rowan Williams, Former Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Harun Rashid Khan, Secretary-General, Muslim Council of Britain
  • Sanjay Jagatia, Secretary General, Hindu Council UK
  • Lord Singh CBE of Wimbledon, Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, UK
  • Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger DBE, Senior Rabbi to the West London Synagogue
  • Jamie Cresswell, President of the European Buddhist Union
  • Nemu Chandaria OBE, Chair, One JAIN, Institute of Jainology
  • Malcolm Deboo, President of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe
  • The Most Rev'd David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Dr. Mohammad Shahid Raza OBE, Chairman, Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board
  • Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism
  • The Most Rev'd Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales/Archesgob Cymru
  • Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi to Liberal Judaism
  • Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi to Masorti Judaism
  • His Eminence Gregorios, Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain
  • His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop, Coptic Orthodox Church
  • Rt Rev'd Russell Barr, Moderator of the General Assembly, The Church of Scotland
  • Rev'd Dr Roger Walton, President of the Methodist Conference
  • Rev'd Kevin Watson, Moderator of the General Assembly, United Reformed Church
  • Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain
  • Commissioner Clive Adams, Territorial Commander, The Salvation Army, UK and Republic of Ireland
  • Imam Sheikh Sayed Razawi, Director General of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt society
  • Mr. Sayed Yusif Al-Khoei OBE, Director, Al-Khoei Foundation
  • Rt Rev'd Geoffrey Annas, Bishop of Stafford
  • Rt Rev'd Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rt Rev'd Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford
  • Rt Rev'd Glyn Webster, Bishop of Beverley
  • Rt Rev'd Richard Blackburn, Bishop of Warington
  • Rt Rev'd Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden
  • Rt Rev'd Peter Burrows, Bishop of Doncaster
  • Rt Rev'd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham
  • Rt Rev'd Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph
  • Rt Rev'd Dr Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston
  • Rt Rev'd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark
  • Rt Rev'd Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon
  • Rt Rev'd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely
  • Rt Rev'd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford
  • Rt Rev'd John D E Davies, Bishop of Swansea and Brecon
  • Rt Rev'd Dr. Gregor Duncan, Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway
  • Rt Rev'd Richard Frith, Bishop of Hereford
  • Rt Rev'd Jonathan Frost, Bishop of Southampton
  • Rt Rev'd Clive Gregory, Bishop of Wolverhampton
  • Rt Rev'd David Hamid, Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of Europe
  • Rt Rev'd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath & Wells
  • Rt Rev'd Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich
  • Rt Rev'd Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking
  • Rt Rev'd John Holbrook, Bishop of Brixworth
  • Rt Rev'd Anne Hollinghurst, Bishop of Aston
  • Rt Rev'd Michael Ipgrave OBE, Bishop of Lichfield
  • Rt Rev'd Jonathan Meyrick, Bishop of Lynn
  • Rt Rev'd Roger Morris, Bishop of Colchester
  • Rt Rev'd James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle
  • Rt Rev'd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney
  • Rt Rev'd Geoff Pearson, Bishop of Lancaster
  • Rt Rev'd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield
  • Rt Rev'd Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester
  • Rt Rev'd Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rt Rev'd John Stroyan, Bishop of Warwick
  • Rt Rev'd Dr David Thomson, Bishop of Huntingdon
  • Rt Rev'd Dr John Thomson, Bishop of Selby
  • Rt Rev'd Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro
  • Rt Rev'd Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington
  • Rt Rev'd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester
  • Rt Rev'd Graham Usher, Bishop of Dudley
  • Rt Rev'd David Walker, Bishop of Manchester
  • Rt Rev'd Rob Wickham, Bishop of Wickham
  • Rt Rev'd Paul Williams, Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham
  • Rt Rev'd Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover
  • Rt Rev'd Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham
  • Rt Rev'd Ruth Worsley, Bishop of Taunton
  • Rt Rev'd John Wraw, Bishop of Bradwell
  • Bhai Sahib, Bhai Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia, Spiritual Leader & Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha
  • Sughra Ahmed, Chair, Islamic Society of Britain
  • Dr. Mohammad Manazir Ahsan, MBE, Chairman, The Islamic Foundation, Markfield, Leicester.
  • Imam Qari Asim, MBE, Senior Imam of Leeds Mosque
  • Dr. Waqar Azmi. OBE, Chairman, Remembering Srebrenica Trust, Birmingham.
  • Canon Pat Browne, The Catholic Church of the Holy Apostles, Pimlico
  • Baroness Butler-Sloss, Chair of the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life
  • Acharya Modgala Duguid, Interfaith Officer of the Network of Buddhist Organisations
  • Dr Edie Friedman, Executive Director, The Jewish Council for Racial Equality
  • Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE
  • The Very Rev'd Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral
  • Rajnish Kashyap MCICM, Hindu Council UK, Vice President Arya Samaj Middlesex and Secretary Council of Dharmic Faiths UK
  • Dr. Edward Kessler, MBE, Director of the Woolf Institute on Interfaith Research, University of Cambridge
  • Rachel Lampard MBE, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference
  • Shaykh ibrahim Mogra, Co chair of Christian Muslim forum
  • Jehangir Sarosh, General Secretary, European Council of Religious Leaders
  • Julie Siddiqi, Founder of Sadaqa Day
  • Jasvir Singh, Co-Chair, Faiths Forum for London
  • Bharti Tailor, Hindu Member of the RfP European Council of Religious Leaders
  • Mr. Yousuf Aboobakar, Director, Muslim Food Board, U.K. Leicester.
  • Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hilli, Head of Education, Noor Trust
  • Hafiz Muhammad Ali, Jamia Islamia Centre, Sheffield
  • Imam Hafiz Mohammad Ali, Jamiat Ul Muslimeen Jamia Masjid, Warrington
  • Imam Hafiz Zahid Ali, Warrington Islamic Center, Warrington
  • Dr Frederick Scott Ashmore, London Quakers management group
  • Mufti Monawwar Ateeq, Mufti & Doctorate Researcher (University of Birmingham)
  • Dr. Moulana Athar Hussain Azhari, Trustee, Taybah Trust, Leicester.
  • Imam Aftab Muhauddin al Azhari, Jamia Masjid Muhammadiya Ghausia, Batley
  • Moulna Qamaruzzaman Azmi, Head Imam, North Manchester Central Mosque
  • Mr Moin Azmi, Vice Chair - Manchester Council of Mosques (MCOM)
  • Dr. Mamadou Bocoum,, Director, Public Relations, The Muslim Law Council, London.
  • Imam Hafiz Zeshan Baloch, Jamia Masjid Ghousia, Leeds
  • Rev'd Peter E Barber, Chair of the Chester & Stoke-on-Trent District of the Methodist Church
  • Rev. Hosei Lana Berrington, Head Priest of the North London Soto Zen group
  • Rabbi Dr Barbara Borts, Darlington Hebrew Congregation
  • Rt Rev'd Christopher Boyle, Assistant Bishop, Diocese of Leicester
  • David Bradwell, Refugee Co-ordinator, Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees
  • Rev'd Anne Brown, Chair of Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire Methodist District
  • Ian Buchanan, Convener of Church and Society Committee, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Simon Child, The Western Chan Fellowship Guiding Teacher
  • Imam Hafeezurrahman Chishti, Chairman, Association Of Sunni Ulama, Leicester.
  • Imam Irfan Chishti, Jamia Chishtia, Rochdale
  • Imam Iftikhar Daad, Darul Ikhlas, London
  • Sheikh Imtiyaz Damiel, CEO Abu Hanifah Foundation, Blackburn
  • Dr. Ibrahim Darwish, Muslim Scholar & Journalist, London.
  • Rev'd Clare Downing, Moderator of the Wessex Synod, United Reformed Church
  • Helen Drewery, Genral Secretary, Quaker Peace & Social Witness.
  • Rev'd Dr David P Easton, Chair, Methodist Church in Scotland
  • Rev'd Jacky Embrey, Moderator of the Mersey Synod of the United Reformed Church
  • Jason Kilburn Evans, Quaker Chaplain, University of Sussex
  • Rabbi Michael Even David
  • Rabbi Helen Freeman, West London Synagogue
  • Rev'd Nicola Furley-Smith, Moderator of the Southern Synod, The United Reformed Church
  • Rev'd Ruth M Gee, Chair of the Darlington District of the Methodist Church
  • Andrew Gilbert, London Jewish Forum
  • Rev'd Dr Barbara Glasson, Methodist Church West Yorkshire District
  • Rabbi Amanda Golby
  • Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue
  • Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, New London Synagogue
  • The Venerable Duncan Green, Archdeacon of Northolt
  • Mr. Abdul Malik Haji, President, Cutchi Sunni Muslim Association - Manchester
  • Rev'd Peter Hancock, Chair of the Northampton District of the Methodist Church
  • Allama Mohammed Hanif, Senior Imam – Bolton
  • Sue Harrington, Chaplaincy Brighton & Sussex Universities
  • Robert Harrap, General Director, Soka Gakkai International-UK
  • Imam Noor Hashim, Masjid Ghausia, Dewsbury
  • Imam Syed Qamar Hashmi, Ghamkol Sheriff Masjid, Rochdale
  • Dr. Musharraf Hussain, OBE, Director, Karimia Institute, Nottingham.
  • John Hawkins, Archdeacon of Hampstead
  • Imam Ghulam Mustafa Hazarvi, Jamia Masjid Ghausia, Dewsbury
  • Rev'd John Hellyer, Chair of the South-East District of the Methodist Church
  • Rabbi Dr Michael Hilton
  • Rev'd John Howard, Former chair of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District of the Methodist Church
  • Rev'd Ian Howarth, Chair, Birmingham Methodist District
  • Rev'd Dr Jennie Hurd, Chair, Synod Cymru, The Methodist Church
  • Molana Mohammed Hussain, Al Ihya Foundation, Bolton
  • Rev'd Jenny Impey, Chair of the London District of the Methodist Church
  • Mohammed Imran, Imam - Darul-Uloom-Islamia, Manchester
  • Andrew Jackson, Lay Anglican Chaplain, University of Sussex
  • Rabbi Dr. Margaret Jacobi, Birmingham Progressive Synagogue
  • Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris, Principal, Leo Baeck College
  • Rameez Kaleem, Chair & trustee of the City Circle
  • Molana Mohammed Kalim, Noorul Islam Masjid, Bolton
  • Tehmina Kazi, Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy
  • Moulana Mohammed Hanif Khaki, Head Imam, Gulzar-e-Madina Mosque, Leicester.
  • Dr. Tahir Mahmood Kiani, Head imam, Stechford Masjid, Birmingham
  • Leonie Lewis, Vice-Chair, Faiths Forum for London
  • Rev'd Peter Macdonald, Leader of the Iona Community
  • Imam Hafiz Amjed Mahmood, Haroonia Islamic Centre, Rochdale
  • Shaykh Sajid Mahmood, Head Imam Sayyidah Aminah Jamia masjid Bradford
  • Mr. Mustafa Malik, Director, Pakistan Youth and Cultural Association ( PYCA ) , Leicester.
  • Rabbi Monique Mayer, Bristol & West Progressive Jewish Congregation
  • Rev'd Chris McDermott, Lead Chaplain, University of Sussex
  • Rev'd Peter Meek, Moderator of the East Midlands Synod, United Reformed Church
  • Rev'd Loraine N Mellor, Chair of Nottingham and Derby District of the Methodist Church
  • Rev'd Andrew Mills B.Sc., M.A., M.Sc., Moderator, North Western Synod of the United Reformed Church
  • Molana Arshad Misbahi, Head Imam -Warrington Islamic Centre Mosque
  • Qari Mohammed Ismail Misbahi, Imam -Misbahul Uloom Centre - Rochdale
  • Father Gerard Mitchell, S.J., Parish Priest, St Anselm's Church Southall and Faiths Forum for London
  • Molana Mohammed Mohsin, Imam – Makkah Mosque - Bolton
  • Ragih Muflihi, CEO Yemeni Community Association
  • Imam Noor Muhammad, Jamia Masjid AbuBakar, Huddersfield
  • Munisha, European Liaison and Communications Officer, The Triratna Buddhist Order
  • Imam Muhammad Najeb, Masjid Anwar e Madinah, Huddersfield
  • Imam Muhammad Ali Naqshbandi, Jamia Islamia Taleemul Quran, Sheffield
  • Mohammed Naseer, Chair of Central Victoria Park Mosque, Manchester
  • Rev'd Gill Newton, Chair of the Sheffield District, Methodist Church
  • Rev Rachel Parkinson, Chair of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District
  • Imam Mohammed Arif Patel, Chair - Sunni Dawate Islami, UK - Bolton, Preston, Blackburn
  • Moulana Mohammed Shakir Patel, Head Imam, Usmani Mosque, Leicester.
  • Grace Pengelly, Secretary for Church and Society, The United Reformed Church
  • Rev'd Dr David Pickering, Moderator, The National Synod of Scotland, United Reformed Church
  • Juliet Prager, Deputy Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain
  • Rev'd Dr Andrew Prasad, Moderator of the Thames North Synod
  • The Venerable Rosemary Lain-Priestley,, Associate Archdeacon of London
  • Rev'd John Proctor, General Secretary, United Reformed Church
  • Imam Ahmed Nisar Beg Qadri, Qadria Trust, Manchester
  • Imam Mufti Akhter Qadri, Jamia Al-Furqaan, Sheffield
  • Imam Sajid Ul Qadri, Jamia Masjid Ghausia Burnley
  • Imam Umar Hayat Qadri, Jamia Masjid Ghausia, Huddersfield
  • Moulana Farogh Ahmed Qadri, Secretary, World Islamic Mission, Scotland. Glasgow.
  • Shaykh Muhamamd Dilshad Qadri, Jamia-tul-Batool, Leeds
  • Imam Ghulam Rasool, Trustee Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust UK
  • Imam Ijaz Rasool, The Light of Quran, Sheffield
  • Imam Qari Abdul Rauf, Ghamkol Sheriff Masjid, Rochdale
  • Imam Hammad Raza, Jamia Masjid Riza, Huddersfield
  • Mr. Waseem Riaz, Director, Kirklees Faith Network, Dewsbury.
  • Moulana Khalid Rizvi, Moulana Khalid Rizvi
  • Father Dominic Robinson (SJ), Superior Mount Street Jesuit Community
  • Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild
  • Imam Hafiz Mohammed Saleem, Director, Faiz-e-Raza Academy, Leicester.
  • Mr. M.M. Salim, Chairman, The Leicester Central Mosque, Leicester.
  • Rabbi Dr Marc Saperstein
  • Imam Qari Ghulam Sarwar, Hanfia Mosque, Huddersfield
  • Canon Steven Saxby, Executive Officer, London Churches Social Action
  • Sayed Zaffar Ullah Shah, Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust Birmingham
  • Rabbi Irit Shillor
  • Imam Muhammad Shabbir Sialvi, Golden Mosque Islamic Cultural Centre, Rochdale
  • Shaykh Mohammed Shabbir Sialvi, Head Imam - Golden Mosque, Rochdale
  • Imam Muhammad Din Siyalvi, Sultan Bahu Trust, Nelson
  • Rabbi Larry Tabick
  • Rev'd Richard Teal, Chair of the Cumbria District of the Methodist Church
  • Rev'd Bruce Thompson, Chair of the Lincolnshire Methodist District of the Methodist Church
  • Rev'd Graham Thompson, Chair of the Plymouth & Exeter District of the Methodist Church
  • Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah, Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue
  • Rev'd Simon Walkling, Moderator of the United Reformed Church National Synod of Wales
  • Rev'd Stephen Wigley, Chair of the Wales Synod of the Methodist Church
  • Rev'd Dr Andrew D Wood, Chair of Southampton District of the Methodist Church
  • Rabbi Alexandra Wright, Senior Rabbi, The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John’s Wood, London
  • Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Community Educator Movement for Reform Judaism
  • Rev'd Michaela Youngson, Chair of the London District of the Methodist Church
  • Mufti Mohammed Yousuf, Head Imam, Oadby Mosque, Oadby, Leicester.
  • Dr. Mohammad Rashid Zia, Religious Head, Hayes & Hillingdon Islamic Society , Hayes, Middlesex.

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Institutional affiliations are provided for identification purposes only.