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As spiritual leaders of both Catholic and Jewish communities throughout the US, we join together to express our mounting concern over the increasing number of violent acts directed against Christian sacred sites and against Christians themselves across the world. We deplore all acts of religious persecution no matter their target. Church communities have been subject to persecution, attack, expulsion and even murder. As a result, these same communities have often seen their numbers decrease, especially as their populations are dislocated from centuries old homes.
But concern is not enough: we are convinced that sincere and effective measures against such actions must be taken and that we can all assist in re-evaluating and revising our teaching, preaching and liturgical texts to promote respect for religious differences, even while affirming our own traditions.
As a result,
We pledge our collective efforts towards better understanding and respect among the diverse faith communities of the world;
We urge world political and religious leaders to join in condemning unequivocally acts of aggression, intolerance and violence against religious communities and their sacred sites;
We pray that we may contribute to the realization of our shared teaching to love our neighbors as ourselves, as found in Jewish, Christian and Muslim sacred texts, and
We commit ourselves to the imperative of promoting peace among the spiritual communities of the world as the foundation for peace among nations.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Co-chair
Rabbi David Straus, Co-chair
This joint statement does not necessarily represent the official position of the Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs or the National Council of Synagogues. It reflects the considered judgment of the scholars and spiritual leaders who participate in the Dialogue and is offered for serious consideration by the community.
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