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WCC joins in solemn commemoration of Holocaust anniversary

WCC joins in solemn commemoration of Holocaust anniversary

Photo: Albin Hillert/World Council of Churches

24 January 2020

The World Council of Churches (WCC) joins in solemn commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz.

In a joint comment, WCC moderator Dr Agnes Abuom and general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit reflect on the role this “full revelation of the extremity of human evil” has played as a driver for the drafting and adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Seeing present-day resurgence of anti-semitic attacks in recent years, they state, “We are alarmed at the dramatic increase in antisemitic rhetoric and incidents that has been reported in many countries, and at the pernicious persistence of Holocaust denial, especially online.”

“WCC and its member churches cherish their relations with Jewish partners in dialogue and collaborative action, and reaffirm our commitment to working with Jewish partner organizations and communities to counter the current trend towards ‘normalization of hatred’ against ‘the other’ in many parts of the world,” say the two in their comment, noting ongoing efforts together with the International Jewish Committee for Inter-religious Consultations (IJCIC) to explore ways in which such joint efforts can be strengthened and implemented.

“We observe that antisemitism is often and in many places the first expression of rising intolerance and violence against minority communities, and that it must be resisted and rejected by all people of good will from all communities,” they add. “On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we must all recognize that antisemitism as not an historical anomaly but a persistent and rising threat to Jews and to the openness and inclusiveness of societies around the world.”

Full comment by WCC moderator and general secretary

Strengthening inter-religious trust and respect