On Thursday 7th July people of different faith communities in Bristol got together to talk about the result of the EU membership referendum result.
It was a lively meeting where we talked about the ways in which some in our communities had experienced increased tension and incidents of low level hate crime. We encouraged faith communities to support their members in reporting even the smallest incidents of friction or abuse – either to SARI or the police. And we discussed a wide range of issues arising from the new place that we find ourselves in; education, being a city of Sanctuary and maintaining an open welcome for refugees and asylum seekers; engaging with the economic and employment stresses that will arise in this time of uncertainty; challenging racism in all its forms … and much more.
We emphasized how it is a time to stand together in the good relationships that already exist within our multi-cultural city and to continue to be committed to peaceful coexistence and partnership.
Bristol is a city that cherishes its diverse and vibrant multi-cultural community and culture and we all have a part to play in protecting and sustaining that identity.
Bristol Multi Faith Forum has been invited to work with the Mayor’s strategy group in response to the issues arising from the vote to leave the EU. It was very good to have this opportunity to begin the conversation with people of our faith communities about both the immediate consequences and priorities and the great strengths that people and communities of faith have to bring to the conversations of the city in this time of change.