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General Council of Churches Warns on Blaming Jews for Crucifixion

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The general board of the National Council of Churches, representing 40,000,000 Protestants of 31 denominations, adopted a resolution here this weekend condemning anti-Semitism and declaring that the concept of collective Jewish responsibility for the crucifixion was a distortion of the message of Christianity, according to which all humanity should bear responsibility.

The Council urged Protestants to “seek that true dialogue with religious bodies of the Jewish communities” in the United States “through which differences in faith can be explored within the mutual life of the one family of God–separate but seeking from God the gift of renewed unity.”

The resolution also said that “the spiritual heritage of Jews and Christians should draw us to each other in obedience to the one Father” and that “the historic schism in our relations carries with it the need for constant vigilance lest dialogue deteriorate into conflict. We must confess that sometimes as Christians we have given way to anti-Semitism.”

The American Jewish Committee today issued a statement “warmly greeting” the declaration of the National Council of Churches. “This condemnation of anti-Semitism by Protestant leadership, and their particular rejection of the false charges of collective Jewish responsibility for the crucifixion, are significant contributions to the emerging atmosphere of understanding between Christians and Jews,” the statement said, “The American Jewish Committee endorses the appeal of the National Council of Churches for growing dialogues between Protestants and Jews in the common service of human need, and pledges its support and resources to advance this vital spiritual and human objective,” Morris B. Abram, AJC president, declared in the statement.

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