"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to
the Father except through me." Christian Scriptures (New Testament), John 14:6. That
passage has been a prime motivator of Christian
evangelical activity towards Jews and other non-Christians:
Relations between Christians and Jews have traditionally been horrific.
Christians have a past history of exterminating large numbers of Jews and/or
forcibly converting Jews to Christianity.
church taught for many centuries that all
of the Jews in 1st century
Palestine were responsible for deicide -- the execution of Jesus. Further, they taught that
each successive generation of Jews shared equal responsibility with their ancestors.
Almost all denominations abandoned this belief by 1965.
In the 10th century, Christian Crusaders systematically exterminated
uncounted thousands of Jews on their way to and from the Holy Land.
In 1492, Spanish Jews
were given the option of converting to Christianity or being expelled from their own
The Spanish Inquisition was established, in part, to ferret out any
former Jews that had
not sincerely converted.
The predominately Christian American colonies frequently denied
Jews the right to hold public office.
Pogroms (organized persecution and massacre of Jews) in Czarist
Russia and in eastern Europe resulted in the deaths of countless
thousands of Jews.
During the Nazi Holocaust of World War II, approximately 6 million Jews were exterminated
by citizens of various European countries; the vast majority of the murderers considered
themselves to be Christians; all were volunteers. There is a general consensus
that the Holocaust could not have happened without centuries of
Christian anti-Jewish teachings.
Anti-semitic attacks on individual Jews,
their property, cemeteries and synagogues continue today worldwide, and are increasing in
A main point of conflict between Jews and Christians today is the attempt by
many conservative Christian groups to convert Jews to Christianity through
persuasion. This is viewed by many Jews as an attack on their religion.
Note: In this essay, the term "Christian"
refers to any individual or group that seriously, prayerfully, devoutly believes
themselves to be Christian. Our criteria is the same as used by a government census
office or public opinion polls. More information