Presbyterians try to mend Jewish ties

Divestment plans, support of messianic Jews caused tension
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), under fire from Jewish groups for its funding of messianic Jewish congregations and a move to divest from Israel, is appealing to members of both faiths to respect whatever “fragility of trust” still exists between them.

In a three-page statement issued July 20, Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick defended recent church votes that one prominent Jewish group called “hostile and aggressive.”

“I encourage Presbyterians to maintain their relationships with people of other faiths, with sensitivity to the fragility of trust in the present climate of violence and terror,” said Kirkpatrick, the church’s highest elected official.

PCUSA headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, has been inundated with hundreds of angry phone calls and e-mails from Jews who protested votes on Jewish evangelism and the Israeli-Jewish conflict during the church’s recent General Assembly in Richmond, Virginia.


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