Church leaders across Europe will unite in January to remember the Holocaust and challenge Christians worldwide to resist what they see as a growing anti-Semitic sentiment in their nations and the Middle East.
For the second year, churches are being invited to participate in the International Holocaust Remembrance Day to be held Jan. 27.
Sponsored by the European Coalition for Israel (ECFI), the campaign (learnfromhistory.eu) is intended to remind Christians of the consequences that can result from a failure to confront genocide and anti-Semitism. Hundreds of churches are expected to participate.
The effort has received support from such ministry leaders as Jeff Fountain, European director of Youth With a Mission; Colin Dye, pastor of Kensington Temple London; Swedish pastor Ulf Ekman; and Catholic and Orthodox leaders from Austria, France and Ukraine.
Organizers say Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and European protestors' calling for "death to the Jews" are signs that anti-Semitism remains an international threat.
"Europe is being given a second chance to stand up for the Jewish people and the state of Israel," ECFI executive director Tomas Sandell says. "Rather than just getting emotional about the past, we need to speak up in our neighborhoods and churches about the fact that while Hitler rose from obscurity, today we have a world leader of an oil-rich nation who is a member of the United Nations repeating quotes of Hitler and taking steps to build a nuclear bomb."
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