WASHINGTON--Violent acts against Christians and Christian sites across the world are a mounting concern to leaders of Catholic and Jewish communities in the United States, according to a joint statement issued August 14 by the Jewish-Catholic Dialogue sponsored by the National Council of Synagogues and the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"We deplore all acts of religious persecution no matter their target," the joint statement said. "Church communities have been subject to persecution, attack, expulsion and even murder. As a result, these same communities have often seen their numbers decrease, especially as their populations are dislocated from centuries old homes."
The statement was first developed at a June 25 meeting of the dialogue, which is co-chaired by Rabbi David Straus, chairman of the National Council of Synagogues, and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York.
The statement called for effective measures against such violence. Members of the dialogue pledged to promote better understanding and respect among the world's faith communities, a foundation for world peace rooted in the command to "love our neighbor as ourselves, as found in Jewish, Christian and Muslim sacred texts." They also urged political and religious leaders to condemn "acts of aggression, intolerance and violence" against religious communities and their sacred sites.
Full text of the joint statement is available online: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/jewish/jewish-catholic-joint-statement-2014.cfm