2/22/2017 5:35:00 PM
CHICAGO (Feb. 22, 2017) – The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has issued a letter in response to recent attacks and threats on the Jewish Community.
February 22, 2017
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
These famous words attributed to the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller have been on my lips in recent days: “Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. … Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”
In the face of anti-Semitism, we are called to speak out – as an expression of our love of neighbor and as our faithful response to the love of God in Jesus. In doing so, we become ambassadors of hope in the face of despair, imitators of Christ.
Our Jewish neighbors are once again living under threats, fearful for their safety and security. Over the weekend, a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis was desecrated, and on Monday, another wave of bomb threats was made to Jewish community centers across the country. This was at least the fourth round this year alone. As Christians, we affirm that Jews remain “beloved of God” and that an attack on them is an attack on those whom our God – the one God – has called “my people.”
In many places, with leadership from across this church, we are reaching out and showing up with our Jewish neighbors, often with ecumenical and inter-religious partners. We can and should continue and expand these important ministries of presence.
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