American Jewish Congress Discusses Inter-religious Tensions in U.S.

Inter-religious tensions resulting from conflict over separation of church and state loom as the greatest single domestic issue now facing the Jewish community of the United States, it was reported today by the American Jewish Congress at the quarterly meeting of its national administrative committee.

The report cited a “growing awareness by all major religious groups in the country of the need to discuss their differences frankly and publicly.” It noted the problem was now one of “primary concern” to agencies and organizations dealing with group relations. The report stressed that the major sources of inter-religious conflict cannot be discussed only at a “summit” meeting of top religious leaders, but must also he met at the local level by a free exchange of views.

The report listed four major areas affecting church-state relations and religious liberty in which Protestants, Catholics and Jews differ: 1. Sectarian practices in the public schools, including Christmas celebrations, and efforts to obtain public support for parochial schools; 2. Censorship of books and films; 3. “Blue” laws prohibiting business on Sunday; 4. Birth control, therapeutic abortion, artificial insemination, divorce and adoption across religious lines.

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