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Missions Council Insists on Its Right to Proselytize

January 13, 1929
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Reaffirming its belief in “the right to spread the gospel of Christ among all people,” the Home Missions Council meeting in the First Presbyterian Church here, in replying to Dr. Israel Goldstein of New York, who presented a plea before the Council for the cessation of proselytizing activities among Jews, declared last night that “to neglect this would be a direct violation of this central command of our religion.” The Council denied that efforts were made to convert Jewish children to Christianity without the consent of their parents.

“We desire to assure Dr. Goldstein,” the statement said, “of our hearty cooperation in the cultivating and propagating of good will, civic righteousness, social service and national loyalty between Jews and Christians everywhere.

“We wish also to say that when little children from Jewish families come to our churches, Sunday schools and our neighborhood houses, we believe that it is desirable they should come with the consent and approval of their parents. Furthermore, we don’t believe in the conversion of men and women to Christianity by bribes or bait.

“We are grateful for the spiritual contributions to the ennoblement of our American civilization by every faith and are in perfect sympathy with the American principle of giving the largest possible liberty to all faiths in contributing to our American life.

“In accordance with this American principle, therefore, we insist that every group of people has the right to propagate their faith. In accordance with this principle we affirm that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel for the whole world,” the statement declares.

It was signed by John McDowell, chairman, Bishop E. G. Richardson, Carroll M. David and Charles E. Schaeffer.

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