Westminster Interfaith: Promoting Dialogue Between People of Faith

The agency of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster for Interreligious Dialogue

Westminster Interfaith Newsletter

Issue 60 – January 2009

British Churches - On Christian-Hindu Relationships

Nine British Churches have commented on the current state of Christian-Hindu relationships in the UK. The Churches' joint statement is as follows:

"As Churches with a concern for inter faith relations, we wish to comment on the recent report from the Hindu Forum of Britain entitled 'Caste in the UK', and on the press releases that accompanied it from the forum and the Hindu Council UK.

We greatly value our many friendships with Hindu colleagues and communities, and we warmly appreciate the contributions they make to British society. We believe that between us and along with other faith communities, we can continue to contribute to achieving a harmonious society in which we continue to honour the religious and other differences between us without compromising our respective integrities.

We note some of the difficult issues highlighted in the report, and we believe that the best way to address them is:

  • by engaging in worthwhile conversations involving all concerned, in which different opinions and perspectives are heard respectfully, and positive outcomes are sought;
  • by avoiding, in public or private, language that might unnecessarily cause offence;
  • by being clear together that we oppose all forms of discrimination.

We believe that the most appropriate way to address these matters is through a renewed Hindu-Christian Forum that is representative of our communities, and which can address the many matters of importance to us and the wider British society."

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) have facilitated the writing of this statement by the following Churches:

  • The Baptist Union of Great Britain
  • The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
  • The Church of England
  • The Church of Scotland
  • The Methodist Church
  • The Presbyterian Church of Wales
  • The Salvation Army
  • The Scottish Episcopal Church
  • The United Reformed Church

Media contact: The Revd Peter Colwell, CTBI Executive Secretary for Church Life and Inter Faith Relations, phone: 0207 654 7216; mobile: 07939 139881 or email.

From Churches Together In Britain And Ireland - 3 July 2008

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