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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, sent a message of condolences to Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, over the death of Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain (1991-2013), who died of an oncological disease on the 7th of November 2020.

Lord Jonathan Sacks was a staunch advocate of interfaith dialogue. In July 2006 he visited Moscow to take part in the World Summit of Religious Leaders. More openly than other British religious leaders, Lord Sacks spoke out about the plight of Christians in the Middle East. In 2016, in one of his articles published in the British press he called the persecutions of Christians “ethnic cleansing.” Jonathan Sacks, a renowned public figure, is the author of over 20 books on religion, moral philosophy, sociology and economy at a time of globalization. He was awarded many honorary degrees and literary prizes. In 2008 Sacks’ book The Dignity of Difference. How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations was published in the Russian language.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim MIRVIS

The United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain and the Commonwealth

Dear Chief Rabbi,

Please accept my condolences over the death of Lord Jonathan Sacks.

We remember him as a firm advocate of the dialogue between religions and peoples, between adherents of different worldviews. His visit to Moscow in 2006 as a participant in the World Summit of Religious Leaders became an important event. We have deep appreciation of Lord Sacks’ publications and speeches in defence of the Christians in the Middle East subjected to persecutions.

I ask you to convey my words of condolences to the spouse and all the relatives and friends of Lord Jonathan Sacks.

Yours repsectfully,

Metropolitan of Volokolamsk
Department for External Church Relations
Moscow Patriarchate