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United Methodist resolution calls for Yom HaShoah observance

In recent years, Jewish communities have developed the custom of remembering the Holocaust (Shoah) on the Jewish calendar at a designated time each year. This observance has become a powerful means of educating people about this historical atrocity and sensitizing them to present and potential violence rooted in racial hatred.

Whereas, "In the twentieth century there is particular shame in the failure of most of the Church to challenge the policies of governments that were responsible for the unspeakable atrocities of the Holocaust" (Building New Bridges in Hope, Book of Resolutions 1996), and

Whereas, we are currently (May 2000) remembering the 55th anniversary of the end of World War II,

Therefore, be it resolved that the 2000 General Conference calls The United Methodist Church to contrition and repentance of its complicity in "the long history of persecution of the Jewish people" and asks the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns to give special programmatic emphasis to Holocaust awareness and to prepare resources for use in local congregations, annual conferences and their Conference Commissions on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns or equivalent structures to enable them to become more aware of the Holocaust and its impact, and

Therefore, be it further resolved, as a sign of our contrition and our solidarity with the Jewish community, the General Conference urges the promotion of observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, each spring in United Methodist local congregations and urges the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, in cooperation with other agencies of The United Methodist Church, in a time of increasing anti-Semitism, to work both with our own denomination's history with regard to this tragedy and find ways to support the work against anti-Semitism in the world today and to prepare resources for local congregations to observe Yom HaShoah.

We continue to pray for God's grace to speak in Jesus' name against bigotry, hatred, genocide, or other crimes against humanity whenever we encounter them.

(General Conference 2000, Cleveland, Ohio, May 2-12.)