ADL Outraged at Church Sign Blaming Jews for Death of Jesus
Denver, February 25, 2004 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed outrage over a sign placed in front of a Denver church that stated: "Jews killed the Lord Jesus."
(Update: The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), representing 22 million American Christians, joined with ADL in calling for the sign's removal, as did the Colorado Council of Churches, which issued a statement saying, "that this one congregation does not speak for the vast majority of the Christian community ... we stand in direct opposition to the message on this sign and its implications." On March 2, 2004, Rev. Maurice Gordon, the pastor of Lovingway United Pentecostal Church, replaced the sign's message with an apology: "I am deeply sorry for offending the Jewish people, whom I love.")
ADL's initial statement on this episode follows:
Bruce H. DeBoskey, ADL Mountain States Regional Director, issued the following statement in response to the Lovingway United Pentecostal Church's sign that stated: "Jews killed the Lord Jesus…Settled!":
We are outraged by the outdoor marquee of the Lovingway United Pentecostal Church to post a sign blaming Jews for the death of Jesus. For more than 1,900 years, this accusation has fueled anti-Semitism in the Western world. Now those same words appear on a sign on a busy Denver thoroughfare.
In a private conversation with Pastor Maurice Gordon, we asked him to remove the sign. He refused to do so. We continue to call upon Pastor Gordon to remove his church's divisive and painful message. We also call upon the leaders of other Christian groups in Denver to reaffirm the statements they have made: that all of mankind shares responsibility for Jesus' death, and that blame should not be placed collectively on the Jews of the time or the Jews of today.
We fervently hope that Jews and Christians can use this time as an opportunity for dialogue and learning, not blame and divisiveness.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.