Chief rabbi backs G20 prayer

By James Martin, April 2, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has joined other faith leaders in expressing hope that the G20 meeting in London this week would be “blessed with wisdom”.

The Chief Rabbi signed a religious leaders’ communiqué addressed to heads of the world’s largest economies, which stated: “Our prayers are with the world’s leaders that they be blessed with the wisdom and courage to begin the journey from recession to recovery, and from the old world of national pride to a new age of global responsibility.”

The communiqué, which also included messages from Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, urged the leaders to look at the moral issues at the root of the global crisis and not to forget the poor and marginalised.

Recognising that people “who have lost jobs, savings, or homes, are in need of immediate help”, the statement stressed the need for the G20 to fulfil its promises to the poor. It also cited World Bank figures that “53 million more people could fall into absolute poverty” as a result of the world financial crisis and expressed the hope that “poorer countries would be allowed to trade their way to prosperity”.

The 31 signatories included Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield, head of the Movement for Reform Judaism; Henry Grunwald QC, president of the Board of Deputies; Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism; and Sir Sigmund Sternberg, co-founder of the Three Faiths Forum.

Last updated: 4:29pm, April 2 2009