Leaders of the Episcopal Churches in Germany released a statement condemning the attack at a synagogue in Halle last week, on Yom Kippur, writing that, “We are … keenly aware of the long and grievous history of the church in denying its historic connection to the Jewish people, and in failing to speak with moral clarity when Jewish communities have been singled out for discrimination and violence. … We will not fail to remind our communities of the profound errors of the past, when the church made easy alliance with the evils of white supremacy and nationalism.”
The complete statement follows:
Last week, on the holiest day in the Jewish year, a murderous attack took place at a small synagogue in Halle, Germany. Two people unconnected to the synagogue lost their lives in a senseless shooting, one that had as its intended target the faithful gathered for Yom Kippur.
As Episcopalians, we write to express our outrage and our grief at this attack, and our commitment to continue teaching within our churches about the dangers of intolerance and the evils of extremism and racism in all its forms.
We follow the teachings of a man who was a Jewish teacher and preacher. In the calendar of our year, we mark events in the life of that man reflecting his Jewish upbringing and piety.
We are also keenly aware of the long and grievous history of the church in denying its historic connection to the Jewish people, and in failing to speak with moral clarity when Jewish communities have been singled out for discrimination and violence.
We condemn all violence perpetrated against people and communities of faith, and we stand unalterably in support of the rights of all people to exercise the dictates of their conscience without fear. We will not fail to remind our communities of the profound errors of the past, when the church made easy alliance with the evils of white supremacy and nationalism. And we assure our Jewish neighbors and friends of our prayers, our support, and our assistance.
The Reverend Dr. Lutz Ackermann
Vicar, Mission of Saint Boniface, Augsburg
The Reverend Christopher Easthill
Rector, Church of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Wiesbaden
The Reverend Hanns Engelhardt
Mission of Saint Columban, Karlsruhe
The Reverend Scott A. Moore
Vicar, Mission of Saint James the Less, Nürnberg
The Reverend Allan Sandlin
Interim Rector, Church of the Ascension, Munich
The Reverend. Dr. Edda Wolff
Interim Rector, Church of Christ the King, Frankfurt
The Venerable Walter J. Baer
Archdeacon, The Convocation Episcopal Churches in Europe
The Right Reverend Mark D. W. Edington
Bishop in Charge, The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe
Read the press release at the Episcopal News Service.
Photo credit: Synagoge in Halle (Saale), Jüdischer Friedhof, Humboldtstraße, by Allexkoch – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via wikimedia commons