Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

Baptists take strong stance against anti-Semitism

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A Baptist group in the United States issued a resolution reaffirming the “historic American Baptist stand against anti-Semitism.”

The resolution, issued by American Baptist Churches USA’s (ABC USA) International Ministries (IM), declares anti-Semitism to be “wholly contrary to Jesus’ teaching” and that it “demeans Jesus and all people of Jewish ethnicity.” Baptist members and congregations are urged to sensitize themselves to issues associated with anti-Semitism by providing “age‐appropriate, Biblically contextualized teaching within the congregation concerning the Holocaust and other forms of genocide.”

Individuals, churches and ABC USA mission partners within and outside the US are also encouraged “to reach out to Jewish neighbors and/or synagogues to build relationships of solidarity and to initiate mutual actions to confront anti-Semitic attitudes and actions.”

IM commended Baptists in Romania for their strong stance against anti-Semitism in the Eastern European country. “Anti-Semitic attitudes are intolerable at any time and in any place,” the letter to the Romanians read. In reference to anti-Semitic sentiments expressed on Romanian airwaves late last year, IM told Romanian Baptists they “were deeply encouraged to read of the Baptist union’s courageous press release concerning the intolerant and anti-Semitic remarks that were aired on December 13, 2013, on Romanian radio.”

Among the events IM denounced were the defacing of an exhibition of child Holocaust victims in Paris, France, in January; the defacing of the Holocaust Memorial in Philadelphia in the US, in March; the painting of swastikas and anti-Semite graffiti on a Holocaust monument in Odessa, Ukraine, in April; shootings at both the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park and at the Village Shalom Retirement Community in Leawood, both in Kansas in the US, in April; and the shooting of four persons at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels, in May.

The resolution, which was adopted on the 9/11 anniversary in the US, followed on similar resolutions by American Baptists in 1976, 1983 and 1989.

Baptist World Alliance®
© October 7, 2014

The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 253 conventions and unions in 130 countries and territories comprising 51 million baptized believers in 176,000 churches. For more than 100 years, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.