So, the other day, our Youth Coordinator Steph Gutmann was invited to “hang out” at the Israeli embassy for a special reception.

The Shalom Declaration is given to the Israeli Ambassador

There is a buzz between members of the Christian community and members of the Jewish community, as both communities are recognising there is a clear special relationship being forged: One of mutual understanding, hope and respect. At the centre of one arm of this new friendship is “the Shalom Declaration”. It is declaration many Church leaders across the UK are signing – not just Church leaders, but thousands of ordinary Christians who publically declare their affirmation of Israel as the Land of the Bible, committing to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and to stand side-by-side with the Jewish community against the rising tide of anti-Semitism.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, visit the website, or speak to Steph at the Head Office.

On Monday 26th September the Israeli Embassy hosted a special reception where the Shalom Declaration was handed over to Israeli Ambassador, His Excellency Mark Regev. I had the honour and the privilege of attending this prestigious event, and have been able to work with Steven Jaffe on the Board of Deputies on a few occasions to share the message of the declaration to Christians and Churches across the East Midlands, encouraging a fair few to add their names to the list of signatories.

This is to demonstrate that Christians have no “agenda” other than to be the love of God to His chosen people, Israel, and to stand alongside them against anti-Semitism. Whether this is through prayer, online discussion, sharing truth as opposed to biased reporting or educating the Church, at the heart of what I do with the Young People is the desire to see re-education and a passion for Young People to stand alongside the Jewish people in their schools, colleges and universities.

to demonstrate that Christians want to be the love of God to His chosen people, Israel, and to stand alongside them against anti-Semitism.

So it was a great honour to have been one of those invited to witness the handing over of this message to HE Mark Regev on behalf of the many “Friends of Israel” groups (I co-lead the East Midlands group, if you would like to know more about these groups around the UK).

In the words of some of my Jewish friends and counterparts, “We’re facing a common enemy in extremist Muslim ideology. Now more than ever, Jews and Christians need to stand side-by-side in solidarity with each other. Both Jews and Christians are known as “People of the Book by the Muslim world, and are not differentiated”.

My prayer is that as I begin to challenge some of the universities Christian unions, the support by Christians would have a huge impact on the Jewish students they meet. That they would realise we really are with them in this fight, and they really are not alone.

Posted by Phil Bowell on .

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