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Poland: the Church celebrates Day of Judaism in Lodz. “Mutual understanding, harmony and peace”

The Day of Judaism celebrated by the Polish Church on 17 January, the eve of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, “is intended to remind Church members of the deep relations existing between Christianity and Judaism. At the same time, it is also an opportunity to take joint action to protect life and human rights, and to prevent different forms of religious extremism and acts of hatred”, said the president of the Committee for Dialogue with Judaism of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Mgr. Rafal Markowski. “Also, the fulfilment of the Council’s guidelines to build closer relations by means of theological and biblical studies, and in fraternal dialogue, fits in with the idea of interreligious dialogue”, which is all the more useful today when it helps us to “understand the religious diversity of the peoples, and in so doing, facilitates the encounter of believers of different religions, and becomes both a source of knowledge and an instrument of harmony and peace”. The Polish Church has been celebrating the Day of Judaism since 1998, choosing a different theme and city every year. The theme for the forthcoming celebrations is inspired by the words found in the Book of the Prophet Hosea “I will not come in wrath” (Hosea 11:9). The event will take place in the town of Lodz, which was home to 200,000 Jews, between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, who were then exterminated during the Shoah. Over 50,000 people died in the Lodz ghetto, established by the Nazi in 1940, while another 80,000 were deported to extermination camps.

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