NEW YORK (Apr. 30)
With a Day of Compassion for Nazi-persecuted Jews being observed on Sunday in many churches all over the country, the National Conference of Christians and Jews today made public a record of the protests by the Christian world against the Nazi campaign to exterminate the Jews of Europe. The document, entitled “Christians Protest Persecution,” is a compilation of the world-wide expressions of protest by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and other Christian denominations.
Included in the report are denunciations – many of them circulated through underground channels – by leading Christian spokesmen in the occupied countries, in the Axis satellite countries and even in Germany and Italy. Also included are some of the known facts about the resultant mistreatment of the protesting churchmen by the Axis secret police and other official agencies.
In an introduction to the report, Dr. Everett R. Clinchy, president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews writes: “Protest, however, is not enough. Action, immediate and long-term, must follow, both for the sake of the innocent victims of brutality and for our own sakes so that we may not become cynical or apathetic. If action does not accompany our resentment, harm rather than good may result.” Proposals for action made by various groups are summarize by Dr. Clinchy as follows:
a) The United Nations should appeal to the German government through neutral nations to release the Jewish people from Nazi dominated countries.
b) The United Nations should provide refuge for victims of persecution with temporary asylum for the duration of the war. Immigration procedures should be facilitated within established quota limits.
c) The neutral nations should be given financial assistance by the United Nations to provide sanctuary for refugees.
d) Great Britain should continue and extend opportunity for immigration of Jews into Palestine.
e) A system of minimum food rations for the victims of Nazi oppression who are unable to leave the Axis jurisdiction should be effected immediately.
LISTS CHRISTIAN CHURCH GROUPS IN U.S. WHICH CONDEMNED NAZI PERSECUTIONS
The report lists the following as among the Christian church groups in the United States who have expressed their strong views on the un-Christian nature of the Nazi policies:
The Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, which issued a plea to the 25 major denominations affiliated with the Council, to “intensify their efforts for full justice to the Jews,” expressed the “deepest sympathy and indignation” of the “Christian people of America” over the “incredible cruelties” inflicted upon Jews in Nazi-occupied countries.”
The Methodist Bishops of the United States; the Church Peace Union, the Northern, the Southern and National Negro Baptist Conventions; the National Lutheran Council; the Disciples of Christ; the Reformed Chruch of America, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. which pledged itself to participate “in every world effort to combat anti-Semitism;” the Quakers, the International Christian Endeavor Society, the Congregational and Christian Churches, and the National Conference of Methodist Youth. Climaxing several earlier statements, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States issued, on November 14, 1942, an important pronouncement on vital issues in the present war, which denounced the persecution of Christians and Jews by the Nazis.
The report also enumerates the action taken by leaders of the Church in England as well as in neutral countries and in Nazi-occupied territories.