Christians must repent for centuries of antisemitism which ultimately led to the Holocaust, the Church of England has said in a document that seeks to promote a new Christian-Jewish relationship.
However, the church’s move to take responsibility for its part in Jewish persecution was impaired by stinging criticism by the chief rabbi of the continued “specific targeting” of Jews for conversion to Christianity.
The document, God’s Unfailing Word, is the first authoritative statement by the C of E on the part played by Christians in the stereotyping and persecution of Jews. Attitudes towards Judaism over centuries had provided a “fertile seed-bed for murderous antisemitism”, it said.
Theological teachings had helped spread antisemitism, and Anglicans and other Christians must not only repent for the “sins of the past” but actively challenge such attitudes or stereotypes.
“The attribution of collective guilt to the Jewish people for the death of Christ and the consequent interpretation of their suffering…