Surge in faith-related crimes raises concern

faith-related crimes

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has strongly condemned the recent upsurge in faith-related crimes, asserting that such prejudice “has absolutely no place in our society.”

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict on 7th October, the UK Jewish charity the Community Security Trust (CST), has recorded approximately 800 incidents of antisemitism.

Particularly alarming is the spike in antisemitic incidents in London. More than 400 such offences occurred between 1st and 27th October compared to 28 during the same period last year, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Fr Jan Nowotnik, Secretary of the Committee for Catholic-Jewish Relations, expressed his deep concern:

“As followers of Christ, we are a people of peace, and the figures recorded by the Metropolitan Police for these crimes in London are alarming. Antisemitism has absolutely no place in our society.”

He also condemned any faith-related crimes, emphasising the need for unity.

Increase in Islamophobic offences

Fr Nowotnik is also Secretary for the Office for Relations with Other Religions and highlighted the “disturbing rise” in crimes against Muslims.

The Metropolitan Police reported a 140% increase in Islamophobic offences between 1st-18th October compared to the previous year.

Fr Nowotnik stressed “It is important to remember that we are all made in the image and likeness of God and recognise that violence begets violence.” He called on all believers to pray for peace in our troubled world.

These concerns align with Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster, who recently appealed for “restraint” following violent responses to the war in London and across the UK.

“At home, I appeal for restraint and the total avoidance of hateful language and action, as the impact of this conflict is felt in communities here,” Cardinal Nichols said.


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