Leeds is one of the most diverse cities outside London and religion shouldn't divide us - the YEP says

Leeds is one of the fastest growing cities in the country - and also one of the most diverse outside London.
Is Leeds losing its religion?Is Leeds losing its religion?
Is Leeds losing its religion?

Our city is home to over 170 different ethnic groups with over 104 languages spoken.

But despite the make-up of our wonderful City of Sanctuary there is one thing that binds us all - our faith, or sometimes the lack of.

The religious profile of the city is changing.

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Yet it is staggering to reveal the stark figures show hate crime is on the rise in West Yorkshire.

New figures revealed to the YEP show that in 2015 there were 3,397 recorded hate crimes - 2,845 of those were categorised as race-related and 155 as faith orientated.

Others related to sexual orientation, disability or transgender.

Last year West Yorkshire Police recorded 8,227 hate crimes - 439 were listed as faith hate.

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Perhaps more people have the confidence to report this but it’s still disturbing this is an issue in a compassionate city.

And many of these crimes are from those hiding behind a veil of secrecy on social media.

It is all too easy for someone to hide behind their keyboards and spew vitriol to others without being held accountable.

Yet while religion continues to change and evolve surely showing compassion to others is just a simple trait of human nature?

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Rather than focusing on what divides each and every one of us, surely as a compassionate city we should a look at what really makes us exactly the same - without the need to be defined by religion, race or gender.

We're all Leeds.