- Pathfinder

Reply To: Why is it important for Christians to keep the sad history of Christian antisemitism in mind when responding to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the present?

Hannah Straub

It’s easy for Western Christians to stand back and judge a bloody conflict halfway across the world, but it’s harder to acknowledge our own shadowy past in it. Learning about the history of Christian antisemitism has been eye-opening. From the harsh words of Protestant Reformer Martin Luther to the pogroms in Europe, Christians have historically been hostile to Jews.

A fundamental misunderstanding of the Biblical text has led to real-life consequences. Christians have tortured and killed Jews. It’s a historical fact and violent acts by Christians still scar Jewish-Christian relations. Slurs of “Christ-killer” don’t just vanish. Their memories linger.

When stepping into engaging with the Modern State of Israel and the Jewish people, it’s important for Christians to first examine and acknowledge their own violent past. Even if we weren’t the ones who directly committed antisemitic actions, we still inherit this troubled legacy. Without the history of Christian antisemitism, would there have been Jewish refugees in World War II? Christians must examine their collective past and take full responsibility before trying to “fix” someone else’s conflict.