Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

New York City and Tri-State News: Christian Minorities in the State of Israel

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

New York City and Tri-State News: Christian Minorities in the State of Israel

Article excerpt

NEW YORK CITY AND TRI-STATE NEWS: Christian Minorities in the State of Israel

An Interfaith Day on Christian Minorities in the State of Israel took place on Feb. 29 at the Park East Synagogue in New York City. It was sponsored by The Archdiocese of New York, the Consulate General of Israel, the National Council of Churches of the City of New York, the New York Board of Rabbis and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

Israeli Embassy Minister for Inter-religious and Public Affairs Avi Granot described conflicting perceptions in the negotiations that preceded Pope John Paul II's historic visit to the synagogue in Rome.

In extensive consultations with his co-religionists, the head rabbi of Rome found that one point of agreement was that the pope could not walk into a synagogue wearing a cross, which to Jews represents pogroms and blood libels. The pope, however, convinced them that if the purpose of his visit was to represent the papacy, he should wear every symbol of it, including the cross.

At the individual level, Granot also finds perceptions not grounded in reality. For instance, many Jews in Israel express fears of Christian intimidation and proselytizing. But, he asked, how could Christians, who constitute only 2 percent of the population, cause harm to the other 98 percent? On the other hand, some Christians fear that Israel aims to destroy the Christian community in Israel, or at least prevent it from growing, whereas Israel views its role as protector of all the Abrahamic faiths.

While acknowledging that the Christian community in Israel is declining, Granot said that to blame this on the political situation is only an excuse. He would like to see Christians abroad do more to help their own communities, just as Israel has benefitted from the world Zionist community. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.