Coptic Patriarch's Claim That 'Jews Killed Christ' Shows Persistence of Anti-Semitism Among Arab Christians
New York, NY, May 29, 2007… The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said a recent statement by a prominent leader of the Coptic Church, who claimed that the New Testament says that the Jews killed Christ and that the Vatican was wrong to apologize for two thousand years of church-based anti-Semitism, "shows the persistence of anti-Semitism among Arab Christian leaders."
According to a translation of an interview with Egyptian Copt Patriarch Shinoda III, provided by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the Coptic leader told an interviewer on Egyptian TV that the Vatican was wrong to apologize for longtime church teachings about Jews as Christ killers.
"It is disturbing, but not surprising that there are still Christian leaders in the Arab world who not only wholeheartedly ascribe to the deicide charge, but who teach it to their congregants as a core tenet of their faith," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "It shows the persistence of anti-Semitism among Arab Christian leaders and contributes to the already virulent anti-Semitism that is part of the mainstream in many Arab nations. It also shows the need for education and leadership for tolerance in Middle East not only among Muslims, but Christians as well."
"What is the Vatican apologizing for?" Patriarch Shinoda III said in his April 8, 2007 appearance on Egypt's Dream 2 TV. "It has done nothing that warrants an apology. I don't like things that are done for appearance's sake. Everything must have depth and reasons. What are they apologizing for?"
When the interviewer noted that the Catholic Church had apologized for describing Jews as "Christ killers," Patriarch Shinoda responded, "The New Testament says that they (Jews) are. Is the Vatican against the teachings of the New Testament?"
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.