GLASGOW (May. 23)
The Church of Scotland has joined the Jewish Representative Council of Glasgow in a strong condemnation of anti-Semitism and an acknowledgement that the Christian church has been guilty over the centuries of fostering anti-Semitic attitudes.
The joint statement issued here also affirmed the place of Zion in Jewish theology as an expression of the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy. It declared that the Christian and Jewish communities must combat “the evil of anti-Semitism” and act together in support of the right of all to freely practice their religion. The statement expressed concern for human rights in general and opposition to all forms of racism.
It said in part: “We are agreed that anti-Semitism must be combatted in all its manifestations. Those of us who are Christians recognize our need to acknowledge the Church’s guilt through many centuries in fostering anti-Jewish attitudes and to seek forgiveness of God and of our Jewish brothers and sisters.”
The statement also noted that “As a group of Christians and Jews, we have paid particular attention to the evil of anti-Semitism which in its extreme form resulted in the Holocaust in which six million Jews died in Europe.”
The statement was issued after a series of discussions between ministers of the Church of Scotland and leaders of the Jewish community who have been meeting regularly since October, 1982. In addition to its condemnation of anti-Semitism, the statement said:
“We have also become aware of the enduring quality of Zion in Jewish liturgy and theology throughout the ages, and of how Zion is seen as an expression of the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy, a hope for the dispersed, and a spiritual center.”