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“Holocaust remembrance is engaging in a testimony to the sanctity of the other human being”

The European Evangelical Alliance adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism in a ceremony at the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

FUENTES EEA AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus JERUSALEM 11 DE MAYO DE 2022 15:00 h
Thomas Schirrmacher and Goodwill Shana laying a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. / Photo: Yoni Reif.

Evangelical Christians from Europe and other parts of the world joined a memorial ceremony at the Yad Vashem (the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre) in Jerusalem on 26 April.

Representatives of the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) together with representatives of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations held a remembrance ceremony in which a wreath was laid with the inscription “In reverence and deep shame, but with the promise of future solidarity - European Evangelical Alliance”.

A member of the board of the German Evangelical Alliance read out Psalm 23 and the song “By Gentle Powers” was performed in several languages, including Hebrew.


EEA: “Responsibility to and for the other human being”

As part of the EEA declaration, President Frank Hinkelmann emphasised, among other things: “In 2022, 80 years after Adolf Hitler declared his ‘final solution’ at the Wannsee Conference in Germany, we declare our adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, including all examples. And we do so without qualification or exemption”.

Connie Duarte, the designated new Secretary General of the EEA, added: “Holocaust remembrance is not about recollection, recall, or reporting the events surrounding the extermination of the Jews of Europe. No, it is about engaging in a testimony to the sanctity of the other human being and our infinite responsibility to and for the other human being. This testimony is rooted in the millennial teaching and testimony that comes to the world through the Jewish people”.

[photo_footer]   Frank Hinkelmann (2nd from the left) and Rev Connie Duarte (middle) read the statement. / Photo: Timothy Goropevsek, WEA. [/photo_footer] 

The antisemitism definition

Later, the European Evangelical Alliance issued a statement on the adoption of the the “working definition of antisemitism” of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, approved in Budapest (Hungary) in 2016.

This a non-legally binding definition states: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities”.

The definition of the IHRA includes examples illustrating antisemitism in different contexts.


Meeting with Israel’s President

The Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, Thomas Schirrmacher, said: “The endorsement of the IHRA definition by the European Evangelical Alliance is not only a moral step of extraordinary importance. It is also a strong signal for global Christian-Jewish dialogue and Christian-Jewish cooperation”.

A few days later, the EEA delegation and The Jewish Dialogue Group met the Israeli President Isaac Herzog for a personal conversation in which he expressed his gratitude and appreciation of the EEA's move.




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MIEMBRO DE: Evangelical European Alliance (EEA) y World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)

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