He said: “Belfast is a diverse city, home to many different groups from various faith backgrounds. This isn’t something we should hide from, but rather celebrate and as a Council we have a responsibility to lead the way.
“It makes me extremely sad to have witnessed the recent number of anti-religious actions – especially against those of Jewish and Islamic faith backgrounds. We must send a signal they aren’t alone and those behind any race-related attack do not speak for the majority in Northern Ireland.
“This week is the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week and it is important to note the positive role all religions have made in the history of Belfast. That is the Jewish faith, Islam, Hindu, Baha’i, Sikh, Pagans and Christians. So the invite for a civic reception is for all of them
“I’m delighted Councillors have been able to join me in showing this support and I look forward to seeing people from all faith backgrounds welcomed to City Hall.”