Every year the events of the Holocaust are marked on 27th January. The year the Primus, the Most Rev Mark Strange, offers the following statement:
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. With it falling on a Sunday this year I hope that across the world those who will be in Church will find a moment to reflect upon both the horrors of the Holocaust and also the causes of a racism that to the murder of over six million Jewish people across Europe.
Such evil happens when we stop seeing the whole of the people of Gods’ good earth as equal, and all as God’s children; when we allow others to tell us that one race, one colour, one faith is better and purer than another; when we listen and begin to exclude; when we build walls and refuse to help those in need.
It is then that such horror can begin to grow. Jewish communities often refer to the Holocaust as ‘The Shoah’, an ancient Hebrew word meaning ‘utter destruction’. From the seeds of racist thinking, the utter destruction of a people was systematically and industrially brought to fruition.
We must work to ensure those seeds are not watered and fed by those with agendas that do not serve the well-being of all God’s children.
My faith tells me that it is good to care for others, to turn my cheek and to walk with those in distress. I also believe that we are called to challenge anti-Semitism, and all forms of racism, whenever and wherever it is found, for we cannot remain silent ever again.