Written by Staff Reports
Reaching out in solidarity, leadership of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offered an open letter to Jewish colleagues and friends expressing concern, outrage and support after more than 40 false bomb threats have been reported against Jewish Community Centers in 17 states in the last few weeks.
The latest round on Wednesday (Jan. 18), prompted evacuations and an FBI investigation.
In the letter, released Friday, Jan. 20, calling the hoax attacks "abhorrent expressions of anti-Semitism and religious intolerance," UCC and DOC church leaders condemned the "bigotry, discrimination, and hateful rhetoric and actions" aimed at the the Jewish centers.
"As people of faith, we are called not only to preach God’s justice and vision for shalom, but to live it out," the letter continues. "Such threats, whether acted upon or not, have no place in the world we imagine possible, and that the prophets call God’s people to seek. Our understanding of the biblical concept of shalom is expansive, connoting peace and justice, harmony and right relationship among peoples, and safety and welfare for the community of God’s children. When any of those is disrupted, when any of the human community experiences pain or fear, it affects us all. We stand with you."
The JCC Association of North America, a network of health and education centers, said the threatened organizations were working with police and many had resumed operations after no bombs were found nor injuries reported, as was the case after the earlier series of threats on Jan. 9.
No one claimed responsibility for any of the telephone threats, which targeted Jewish centers in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, along with others in Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and other states.
"We hold you in prayer, yearn with you for the day when none shall be persecuted, and work for the time when all will enjoy God’s peace and justice."
Read the full text of the letter here.