TORONTO (Aug. 8)
A series of resolutions adopted by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada calls on all church members to reject expressions of anti-Semitism and to acknowledge “the reality that the Nazi regime executed millions of Jewish people and members of other racial groups from 1937 to 1945 on account of race.”
The General Synod also urged that “courses of study in World War II in all school systems include reference to the acts of genocide by the Nazi regime” and that copies of this resolution be sent to the Premiers and leaders of opposition parties in all 10 provinces of Canada as well as to the ministers of education in the provinces and territories.
This resolution was seen by some observers as an allusion to what has become known as the Keegstra affair in Eckville, Alberta. James Keegstra, a teacher in the town of Eckville, of which he is also Mayor, has been instructing his students that the mass extermination of Jews during the war was a highly exaggerated story — part of an international Jewish conspiracy.
The Anglican’s commitment to combat anti-Semitism was emphasized in a letter to Rabbi Robert Stemberg, director of the national religious department of the Canadian Jewish Congress, by the Rev. Brian Prideaux, ecumenical officer of the Anglican Church. Prideaux wrote:
“It is shameful that such statements (the resolutions) should still be necessary, but we want to assure the Jewish community in Canada of our wholehearted support against bigotry and racism in our society.”